Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Will Honea - My side of the story

ann_will2.jpg I was born on a farm out side of Sydney, Comanche County, Texas 18 December 1941. Dad enlisted in the Army Air Corps in January 1942 and was initially trained as a bombardier so that was home until he returned from Europe in 1946. After a short look at farm life, he re-enlisted and I was part of an itinerant enlisted family thereafter. I began school in San Angelo, Texas and my initial security clearance form indicates that something like 16 different schools later I graduated from Metuchen High School, Metuchen, NJ. Those included schools in Texas, New Mexico, Georgia, Puerto Rico, and New Jersey so I can't really relate much to any one. Fortunately for me, about the time the teachers at one school thought they had me figured out we moved again. I was nominated for appointment to the Academy by the New Jersey Representative from the district where we were living at the time and never went back.

I was assigned to 3rd Squadron at the end of Basic and stayed there for all 4 years. After graduation I went to UPT at Vance AFB followed by PIT at Connelly and Randolph and spent the next three years as a T-37 IP at Laughlin AFB. A chance meeting with the Head of the EE Department resulted in an assignment back at USAFA teaching EE which served a couple of then-important purposes: it got me off of Laughlin AFB, it got me an AFIT assignment for a Masters degree. Since the USAFA tour required me to complete a SEA tour before AFIT, I wound up in the A-37 as the shortest flying program to accomplish that tour. I returned from SEA in 1970 and entered the Masters program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. From there it was USAFA until I separated in 1976.

After I left the Air Force in 1976 I worked as an engineer designing airframe and mechanical instrumentation, mainly under AF contracts, for a small R&D outfit followed by several jobs designing instrumentation packages for various small companies until a bout with Hodgkin's Lymphoma interrupted things in 1996. I closed out my (formal) working career as a software engineer for MCI. Since "retiring" in 2001, I've managed to stay busy with church activities and a few short term projects for former clients.

I have only minor regrets about leaving the AF when I did but it was clear that my potential in the Air Force was limited - mostly by my own actions. I was never a "square filler" so when it came time to leave the Academy and the AF decided that I should be assigned to R&D rather than flying, the decision was pretty easy. I still maintain contact with USAFA through the AOG where I have worked on several committees.

[ Wake Up, Sir! ]
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