Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Tim's History

I went to Moody for Pilot Training. Then to F4C transition, beginning a career in Phantoms that was exhilarating. First “combat ready” at Bentwaters and Woodbridge RAF bases in the UK. Within a few months more than 100 pilots were volunteering to go to Viet Nam. I went to Jurby Range in the Irish Sea trying to make up my mind about volunteering, as I did not want to do my combat tour in someone's “back seat.” I was given 24 hours to volunteer or not. Bonnie and I were staying in a curious hotel, run by a “Mr. Smith” who asked about our future plans. He had been shot down in WWII as a Luftwaffe pilot and imprisoned on the Isle of Man where we were. When I expressed my ambivalence about volunteering, Herr Schmidt put his arms around us two and proffered this advice: “Var will find you; you do not have to find Var.” I stayed in the UK 3 more years. My inaction guaranteed I would avoid a back seat tour. Instead I went to an O-2A and got to see the war close up. I flew for the Thai Army and enjoyed being “in charge” of the strangest “Var” you could ask for. I treasure the “in close” close air support. This credentialized me for later assignments such as AGOS & TAWC.

I was responsible for good relations with the Army (NATO'S Tactical Air Working Party Chairman) and the USMC (The Commandant's Counter Terrorism Response Committee). I was an insider after the USMC 1983 disaster (as Sr. AF Rep. At Quantico). Some of my fondest memories involved those years of joint contributions.

After Viet Nam I taught at USAFA. I was Chair, Military History Course (Largest course at the Academy). Eventually I was both student and Lecturer on Strategy at National War College.

I retired after 24 years and became a priest in the Episcopal Church. I had a “cluster” ministry in Western Kansas and Bonnie and I got to spend almost all our time driving among our 6 small churches. It was a thrill and a blessing. My church career culminated in my election as Dean, Christ Cathedral, Salina, Kansas. We retired in 2005 and removed ourselves from the joys of Cathedral life. Now we mainly golf and occasionally do services at St. Peter's–by-the-Lake, Possum Kingdom, Texas.

Three wonderful grown children and five grandchildren keep Bonnie and I focused!


Tim Preflighting T33


Blunt, Belmont, and Levins with Kline at his Ordination.

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