Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Doug 's History

Greetings, USAFA Classmates and other interested parties. Here is a brief personal and professional history: I reported to the Air Force Academy on 27 June 1964. See the first link at the bottom of this page for my recollections of that first day. I spent Basic Training in the 44th Basic Cadet Training Squadron, where I roomed with Dave Willoughby. In the Fall, I was assigned to the 20th Cadet Squadron, where I remained all four years. My roommates included Fred Olmsted, Russ Register, Brad Frazee, Mark Fant, Bob Levins, Joe Griffith, and Ray Blunt, all great guys from whom I learned a lot. I survived Doolie Christmas, the ZI Field Trip, the Central European Field Trip, Operation 3rd Lieutenant at Plattsburgh AFB, NY and Pilot Indoctrination at Moody AFB. I served as an element leader, squadron first sergeant and squadron commander, all in CS 20. See the second link below to read the history of the CS20 mascot, The Troll, and the two patches the squadron has worn.

I graduated with a basic sciences major. Following graduation, I married my high school sweetheart, Lois Ojala, in Gary, IN on 11 June 1964. Lois was still working on her degree at Denver University, so we moved into student housing, where I spent my graduation leave and Lois finished a couple of courses. It was really a great and relaxing time.

We reported to Vance AFB, OK for Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT), Class 66-B in August 1964. We lived in an old apartment on Wabash Avenue, right across the street from Enid High School. Some of our best friends there were Gary & Judy Ryser, Jim & Tammie Evatt, Tom & Ann Browning, Steve & Pat Muller, Rip & Bonnie Thomas, Bill & Jan Sakahara and Fred & Barbara Olmsted. One hundred hours in the T-37 and an equal amount of time in the T-38, and I was ready to fly the Air Force's best equipment. I finished UPT in September 1965. See the photo of Lois and me on our way to the Class 66-B Graduation Ball. 196509104_LoisSkip_edited.jpg

From Vance, we journeyed to Perrin AFB, TX, where I reported for Interceptor Pilot Training. In 6 months, I got about 50 hours in the T-33 and 90 hours in the F-102. Classmates Al McArtor, Al Tuck, Guy Dennis, John Jacobs, and Frank Packer and their wives were there at the same time. I flipped a coin for an F-104 assignment and lost to Frank Packer, but was fortunate enough to be assigned to F-106 combat crew training at Tyndall AFB, FL.

We reported to Tyndall in April 1966 and completed the training 2 months later. The F-106 was a fabulous airplane. We lived in Mexico Beach, where we conceived our first child. My favorite instructor was Supersonic Sid Sautter. My first operational assignment was to Dover AFB, DE.

We reported to Dover AFB in July 1966, where I performed duties as an F-106 and T-33 pilot for two years. While there, Lois gave birth to our first son, Doug III. What a terrific kid! We had a lot of fun in Dover, Wilmington, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. I flew with AFA Classmate and good friend Jack Wojnaroski. While at Dover, I volunteered for duty in Vietnam in the F-4D Phantom II. I was selected for replacement training at Homestead AFB, FL, reporting there in May 1968.

While at Homestead, I learned the finer points of the Phantom and the tactical fighter business. I was in the same class as Jack Wojnaroski and Al Tuck. There were also a number of USAFA '65 grads, notably Butch Deacon and John Gritsavage. Butch came close to getting killed in a mid-air collision one day. I had been scheduled to fly that same mission, but was inexplicably yanked off the schedule 2 hours before takeoff. I received my follow-on assignment to Danang AB, Republic of Vietnam, with a port call out of Travis AFB, CA 26 October 1968.

196811109_SkipF4_edited.jpg My Vietnam experience consisted of 175 combat missions, flown out of Danang for 6 months, then out of Phu Cat for 6 months. Most of my missions were either interdiction along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos or close air support in South Vietnam. One particularly hairy mission was a search & rescue (SAR) mission over Tchepone. See the link below to the story entitled Gunfighter 08.

I lost my assigned back-seater and good friend Vince Scott (VMI Class of 1966) in an aircraft incident in which he was flying with another pilot, a LtCol Walt VanCleave. That was an incredibly sad affair, but it led to a precious connection with Vince's family years later.

I received the Distinguished Flying Cross for the SAR mission over Tchepone. I also received the Air Medal with 8 oak leaf clusters. I met Lois in Hawaii on two separate occasions during our year-long separation. Needless to say, those two weeks were wonderful. I flew with Classmates Bob Thomas and Steve Ritchie. While at Phu Cat, I received my follow-on assignment, a consecutive overseas tour to Misawa AB, Japan, flying F-4Cs.

After completing my Vietnam tour, I headed back to the states to collect my little family, and we reported to Misawa in November, 1969. Our mission at Misawa was to pull nuclear alert at bases in Korea, as well as tactical fighter operations over Japan. Here I flew with Classmates John Golden and Bill Sakahara. While at Misawa, I was selected to attend the USAF Fighter Weapons School at Nellis AFB, NV, a 4-month course designed to make students into weapons delivery experts. I brought Lois and Doug III back to the states with me. We had a ball and I learned a ton. One of my flying mates at Nellis was Willy Rudd, USAFA Class of 1963. I returned to Misawa in September 1970.

In early 1971, we learned that the Air Force was pulling out of Misawa and we would all be reassigned. I managed to garner a graduate school slot, reporting to Arizona State University (ASU) in June 1971. Japan was a fun assignment, but it was really nice to be heading back to the states.

I spent two years in graduate school at ASU, studying Orbital Mechanics and Space Vehicle Dynamics; good preparation for my next assignment as a math instructor at USAFA. While at ASU, our second son, Dan, was born. What a joyful addition to our family! Classmate Al McArtor was a few months ahead of me at ASU.

I reported to USAFA, Department of Mathmatical Sciences (DFMS) in June 1973, and taught calculus, differential equations, probability and statistics for 4 years. We bought a home in the Village Seven neighborhood of Colorado Springs. It was a great family assignment, with lots of camping, skiing, hiking, biking and the rest. I also flew T-33s and T-37s. One of my flying buddies was Classmate David Samuel.

In the summer of 1977, I traveled to George AFB, CA for refresher training in the F-4, preparatory to a one-year unaccompanied assignment to Keflavik NS, Iceland. Lois and the boys stayed in Colorado Springs while I did my thing in Iceland from October 1977 through October 1978. I flew both F-4 and T-33, serving as instructor pilot, supervisor of flying, squadron assistant operations officer and executive officer during my tour. Classmate Bob Thomas was one of my squadron-mates during that time. See the link below entitled Sloe Gin 01.

Following Iceland, we were assigned to Nellis AFB, NV, The Home of the Fighter Pilot, where I served in various capacities in the Tactics and Test Directorate, 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, and 57th Fighter Weapons Wing. My final assignment at Nellis was Commander of the F-4 Flying Division of the USAF Fighter Weapons School. I succeeded Classmate Bill Sakahara in that position. Here's a shot of me in front of our building at Nellis.


While at Nellis, I was encouraged by the detailers at the Military Personnel Center to volunteer for a third remote tour with the promise that I would make Colonel if I would do it. For family reasons, I declined. I retired from the Air Force in July 1984, and began to look for work in the Aerospace industry. Here is a photo of Lois and me near the end of my Air Force career.


Following Air Force days, I worked for Lockheed Martin in Denver, CO as a Systems Engineer for a total of 22 years. I worked on several interesting programs, including the Small Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, the Manned Maneuvering Unit, Zenith Star (a key component of Ronald Reagan's Star Wars program), Magellan (a Venus Radar Mapper) and the Titan IV (a heavy-lift space launch vehicle). See the sixth link below, for details on the Titan IV.

We made our home in Littleton, CO and had many interesting and challenging experiences, both family and professional, during those years. Our older son, Doug III, finished his education at Colorado State University in 1990, took a commission from AFROTC, and headed off to undergraduate pilot training at Vance AFB, of all places. He married Barbara Jenkins (same last name!) in December 1991. They had a son, Doug Jenkins IV, in 1994. Doug III recently completed a 22-year Air Force career of his own, having flown C-141 and C-17 aircraft at a variety of bases around the world. He now has a good job in the aerospace industry in Palmdale, CA.

One very difficult experience during our years in Littleton was the loss of our younger son, Dan, in a rock-climbing accident in 1997. He was a firstclassman at USAFA, two months from graduation at the time of his fall. See the fifth link below for the story of our son Dan and his brief military career.

We moved to Gleneagle, CO in 2002. I retired from Lockheed Martin in 2006. Since then, I have been caring for Lois, who was diagnosed with dementia that same year. As time went by, she needed more and more help. I began employing in-home care in 2009. Even with that, keeping her clean, comfortable and content became a 24-hour a day job. In 2011, I began researching Alzheimers-secure assisted living facilities in Colorado Springs, settling finally on an Emeritus facility down Academy Blvd. After an agonizing period of deliberation, I placed Lois in that facility in October 2011, where she resided until her passing on December 10, 2013.

Life without Lois at my side has been tough, but I have done my best to stay busy helping with the Class of 1964 History Project, Reunion Planning Committee and other class activities, including the Old Trolls luncheon group. See the seventh link below for a history of The Old Trolls.

Lois' obituary is contained at the eighth link below.

Wishing you the very best,

Doug Jenkins USAFA Class of 1964
[ Remember 27 June 1960? ]
[ CS20PatchHistory ]
[ Gunfighter 08 ]
[ Sloe Gin 01 ]
[ C/1C Daniel H Jenkins, USAFA Class of 1997 ]
[ Titan IV ]
[ The Old Trolls ]
[ Lois Ann Jenkins ]
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