Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Terry's History

I reported to the United States Air Force Academy from Chicago, IL, via a one-year stint at the University of Chicago. I was proud to be a member of 20th Cadet Squadron, to be associated with so many fine men. I shot skeet and small bore rifle as well as high power. I fondly remember climbing all of the hills around USAFA. Because I was "at home" in the hills (even though I grew up in Chicago) I was one of the few guys who gained weight on our survival trek.

196309109_Flower_sm.jpg Even at the Academy, I loved to hunt. Upon return from my hunting expeditions into Colorado and Wyoming, I enjoyed sharing my spoils with classmates. The cooks at Mitchell Hall were always willing and able to prepare delicious meals from the deer and elk I brought them for all to enjoy. Here is a photo of me “dressed to kill,” taken back in 1963.

After completing four years at the Academy, I did my Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vance AFB, OK with Class 66-B, where I evidently earned high marks for my ability to “walk and chew gum” at the same time, or rather, to fly while talking about it. I was therefore selected as a first-assignment instructor pilot, developing skills from which I would draw in later life. I served as a T-33 IP, a T-38 IP, and an academic instructor at Craig AFB. During my tenure there, I had the opportunity to rewrite the ATCM-51-3, Aerodynamics for Pilots. I also flew functional flight test just for fun.

During that time, I had my own airplane as well, a 1948 Stinson 108-3 (big tail) which carried Margaret and me to the beaches in Florida and up to Chicago. I had to sell it when I had a stroke which ended flying and my AF career. I was medically retired in July 1970.

My Air Force career thus prematurely ended, we packed up and went to Laramie where I earned my MS and PhD, got my first horse and became a Wyoming cowboy. An opportunity to accept a position at St. Catherine University came along where I served as chair of Physics for 30 years.

While at St Kate's, I was selected as outstanding Faculty, nominated for national recognition, and inducted into the Aerospace Educators Hall of Fame. I held the Endowed Chair of Science and currently serve as president of the Minnesota Association of Scholars. I am known around the Twin Cities for my annual Star of Bethlehem talks.

My professional work in astrophysics and teaching has taken me to the Arctic and the Antarctic: to Australia to do photometry of a supernova; to Mauna Kea to image a comet; and to New Zealand, Fiji, Tahiti, Tonga, Samoa to show students the Southern Cross from the beaches. Last year I led a group to the Antarctic to study Climate Change and am preparing a new course - Quarks, Christians and the Cosmos, taking students to the Vatican and the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland to understand more fully the origin of matter, mass, and the universe. It is hard work, but somebody has to do it.

Over the years, my health improved and I am living proof that it pays to persevere. After repeatedly appealing to the FAA, I was granted a medical certificate to fly again. I fly gliders and a tow plane, a Super Cub, with the Minnesota Soaring Club. I have to admit that I learned even more about flying from gliders.

I've become quite active politically in the Republican party, but I don't need to go into all of those gory details.

My greatest treasure is my family, Maragret, of course, our children Julie and Charles and our grandchildren, Maddy, Noah, Chandler and Marley Jane. Margaret and I live along the Mississippi River. We have several boats and our ranch is called Big River Stables ( Fishing is fantastic.

All of this is more than anybody should say about themselves. I am proud to be a Tough Twenty Troll and hope I can live up to the reputations so many of our finest have lain before us.

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