Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Jack's History

Gone But Not Forgotten

HudsonSm.jpg Captain Jackson L. Hudson, United States Air Force Academy Class of 1964, died on March 15, 2002 in Tallahassee, FL of complications following a massive heart attack. An informal memorial service was held on March 24, 2002 at First Baptist Church Hapeville with a reception following.

Jack, who was born in Atlanta, GA in 1942, grew up in Hapeville, GA. He attended Hapeville's College Street School and graduated from Hapeville High School where he was captain of the football team and served as senior class president graduating in 1960. He was a member of First Baptist Church Hapeville where he enjoyed Sunday Bible study and baseball with the Royal Ambassadors. He later lived in Fayetteville, GA.

Graduating from the U.S. Air force Academy in 1964, Jack was subsequently stationed at Eglin AFB, FL where he flew F-104s. In 1969, Jack served in Southeast Asia with an A1C Skyraider air search and rescue unit. He was awarded the Air Force Cross, the nation's second highest award for valor, for combat action which resulted in the successful rescue of 54 U.S. troops. Before leaving the war zone, Jack was himself shot down, but escaped injury and was quickly retrieved by his fellow flyers. Jack also received the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Air Medal with oak leaf clusters, and the Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf clusters.

Jack met and married Jayne Etta Roy while in Florida and after his discharge from the Air Force they had two children. He was later married to Susan Turner of West Point, GA.

Jack began flying for Delta Air Lines out of Atlanta in 1970 as first officer on the Boeing 727. Subsequently he served as training officer on several aircraft, and later as MD-11 fleet manager. Before Jack's death, he was flying the Boeing 767 to Europe, South America and Asia. Jack loved hunting and fishing and spent many happy hours sitting on his boat in the Gulf of Mexico waiting for fish to bite. He kept his family well supplied with pheasants from Kansas and North Dakota, and Canadian geese and ducks from Saskatchewan. With a young, tender bird, Jack could produce an edible dinner. He was also an excellent pistol marksman. Once while hunting quail in south Georgia, Jack lay down a pump shotgun to shoot a six-foot rattlesnake with an Army .45 ACP.

But flying was Jack's passion. As a youth, he began experimenting with flight by gluing together plastic models, but quickly advanced to constructing radio-controlled, gasoline-powered model airplanes which he flew until their wings fell off. As a cadet, Jack restored an old Stearman biplane while on summer holidays at the Academy, and twice flew this reconstructed open-cockpit, fabric, wood, and wire contraption cross-country from Pikes Peak to Atlanta, sometimes navigating by highway signs and billboards. Along with the big modern jets, Jack was qualified to fly the venerable Douglas DC-3 and, after his impending retirement from Delta, planned to continue flying by working in mosquito control in north Florida.

Jack was survived by his daughter Bibbi (Virginia) Ransom; son P.J.; grandson Ryan; mother, Mrs. Miriam Hudson; younger brother Ed; and sister Jan.

(Submitted by Jack's brother, Ed Hudson, Gone But Not Forgotten, Checkpoints, Spring 2002)
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