Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Jay's History

jay.gif I'm an Indiana boy.....a Hoosier....which means I played basketball.....which in turn had something to do with me ending up enlisting in the AF reserve and going to Lackland AFB and basic training in the summer of 59....along with many other basketball and football players. We completed basic and were sent to NAPS.....Naval Academy prep School, Bainbridge NTC, MD where we sharpened our academic skills and also began to learn to be a team. Big day...really big day when we all sewed on our Airman Third Class stripe !!

Doolie Summer was a helluva experience, made more interesting by me busting my jaw on the Terrazzo ! Assignment to Friendly First was a great first step in the Wing. However my basketball days came to a short end with two major knee surgeries and less than stellar academic proficiency......two turn-outs were a bit much !!

Following cadet logic at the time, with the knee surgery and bad academics, of course I could learn how to parachute ! Joel Aronoff got a few of us together and we decided to drive to Boulder to unauthorized activity at USAFA ! We only had one parachutes ! I just happened to be on the Survival Detail that Summer so I managed to scrounge seven canopies so we sent them off to be modified.....cut up.....bought some reserve chutes and altimeters etc......and off we went !!

Initially I recall it was Joel, Stu McCurdy, JJ Davis, me and Ben Collins. Later Pete Johnson from 66 joined us. It was a hoot.....dumb perhaps....but a hoot nonetheless !! By Spring time and nearing grad we had succcessfully avoided getting caught and Joel noted that the NCAA Parachute championships were coming up at Lake Geneva WS. But no way to get there....until one of us found out the Debate Team had a T-29 set up to take them to a debate match at the U of W !!!. So we piled on Space A.

We found our way to the jump meet and enjoyed a rainy day ! Pete Johnson and I teamed up in accuracy......and we won the Academy's first parachuting trophy...first place !!! So back to USAFA. Someone found out what we had done and they took the trophies Pete and I had........and then gave 'em back to us on the Staff Tower at lunch one day. And that was the start of the USAFA Parachute team now known as the PTWOBs ! The "father" of USAFA parachuting is Joel Aronoff !!

On active duty, I started out in missiles....Titan II....and loved every minute of it. On to MM II and MM III. Following a number of assignments from crew, to unit, to base, to wing and to MAJCOM command I moved from missiles to space and learned some more. Along the way I was blessed with leadership lessons from Dick Able, John Haley, Bob Scott, Paul Bacalis, Dick lawson, Russ Dougherty, Yogi Kaufman, Jerry O'Malley, Mike Dugan, Tony McPeak and Ron Fogleman.

Now as the President of the Falcon Foundation I am enjoying the opportunity to continue to make a return on the investment....and I'm loving every minute of it !! Jay W Kelley

LtGen, USAF (ret)
Falcon Foundation
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