Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Gerald's History

king1.png After graduation, I went to pilot training at Laughlin, Class 66-B While there, I contracted hepatitis and ended up graduating with Class 66-D

I was 4th in my class, and when considering what aircraft assignment I should take, I consulted with a good friend of the family, MGen. Sam Harris (an AF test pilot who had flown almost everything). From the age of 6, I always wanted to be a fighter pilot and was leaning heavily in that direction. Gen. Sam asked me if there were any instructor assignments available and I said "Yes, but nobody wants to be an instructor!" He said, "Jerry, you don?t know nearly as much about flying as you think you do, be an instructor for a while and really learn to fly, then go into fighters." I picked a T-38 and never looked back. That was the best advice I ever received. I really did learn to fly and never had any problem checking out in the F-100 and the FB-111. I was a flight examiner in both the T-38 and FB-111.

My Vietnam tour in the F-100 lasted for 7 months. I was based at Tuy Hoa in the 308th TFS and flew 75 missions. In Nov 1970, they closed the base and the Air Force sent me to Osan AFB, in South Korea to the 314th AD to finish my year tour. It turned out to be a great assignment. I worked in the Command Post under MGen Robert Malloy. Funny story: I was working in the command post, it was about 3am. I received a report of a "skunk" (unidentified vessel) at blankety-blank coordinates. I had to wake up Gen Malloy and give him the info. He said, "I don?t have a map in front of me, where is that?" I said, "On the Osan 090 radial/30DME. He said, "King, that?s smack dab in the middle of Korea." I said, "Correction sir, 270 radial at 30 DME." He said, "Attaboy", and hung up. That?s one example of how alert he was. I thought he would be Chief of Staff one day.

From the command post, I worked at what I thought was a by name assignment to F-5s at Willy. The Sq Commander there wanted me, but said SAC had my assignment and he couldn?t do anything about it. Even Gen Malloy, who?s previous job was Commander of MPC, couldn?t get me out of the SAC assignment. However, I was able to talk SAC assignments into putting me into the FB-111 instead of a Buff.

From 1971-75, I was at Plattsburgh AFB in the FB-111 as an Acft Commander, instructing in the 4007th CCTS, and member of Stan/Eval. While there, I received the Meritorious Service Medal for numerous contributions to the safety and effectiveness of FB-111 operations throughout SAC. I cherish that award over all the others. In October 1975, I resigned my commission and returned to my home in Arizona. I taught 7th grade science for 2 years, but missed the flying and had to go back. From 1978-present I have consistently flown airplanes, from Cessna 150s to Citation X?s . I have flown all the Cessna singles and most of the Cessna piston twins, Beech A-36, F-33, V-35, B36TC, B-58 and a couple King Airs. Lear 23, 24, 25, 28, 35. Citation Jets: I, III, VI, VII, X. From 1978-81, I was Chief Flight Instructor for a FAR 141 flight school. From 1988-94, I was an instructor and Group Leader in Ab Initio flight training for Lufthansa. We taught Lufthansa, Iberia, Air France, ANA, EVA from private thru multi-engine instrument.

I retired from professional flying in 2005 after 6 years with Swift Air as Director of Training for 60 pilots in FAR 135 operations in Citations, Falcons, and Embraers throughout US, Canada, Mexico and Caribbean. We managed airplanes and flew in support of Net Jets and Flight Options. Over that period I flew over 2500 hrs in the Citation X and had many interesting passengers: President Clinton, Tiger Woods, Carol Burnett, T Boone Pickens, Kevin Spacey, Barry Goldwater, Wayne Gretzky, Dennis Miller, Kenny G plus many other celebrities and pro golfers. While I was doing pilot services, I took time out from 1981-84 to build 3 custom homes, got my General Contractor?s license, and in 1996-99 had a custom furniture and cabinet business.

In 1987, I purchased a Cessna 182 which I still fly today. It is my pride and joy. My tail number: 964AF, 9th Sq, class of 64, AF Academy. White with blue and silver trim. After I retired in 2005, I met my wonderful wife Judith. She is a retired professional chef from New Zealand (and I still only weigh 190 pounds ??!!). We winter in Tucson and summer in Pinetop in the mountains of Arizona. We both love to travel and she is a great co-pilot. Our 4 children and grandchildren (6 granddaughters) all live in Arizona. All my life I?ve said, "I can?t believe they pay me to do this." I owe much of that to my training at the Academy and to the Air Force. I cherish the bond I have with my classmates because to me they are the brothers I never had. As you my brothers read this, I wish you a long, healthy and fulfilling life.

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