Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Ed's History

Ed_exp.png Major General (Ret) Edward J. Mechenbier was born in Morgantown, W.Va., and raised in Albuquerque, N.M., and Dayton, Ohio, before entering the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1960. After graduation in June 1964, he attended pilot training and served tours in Europe and Southeast Asia flying the F-4C. In June 1967, he was shot down on his 113th combat mission, his 80th over North Vietnam and was a Prisoner of War for nearly six years. On his return to the U.S., he was awarded the Silver Star with the first Oak Leaf Cluster for his resistance to demands by the North Vietnamese for information, confessions and propaganda materiel. He received the Bronze Star medal with ā€œVā€ device for his efforts to conduct himself strictly in accordance with the Code of Conduct while POW. In 1973, he was assigned as a Research Test Pilot to the Fighter Branch, 4950th Test Wing, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He resigned his regular commission in 1975 and continued to fly the F-100 and A-7 for 16 years with the Ohio Air National Guard where he commanded the 162nd Tactical Fighter Squadron for six years. In 1991, the General transferred from the Guard to the Air Force Reserve where he served with the Joint Logistics Systems Center, the Aeronautical Systems Center and Hq Air Force Materiel Command. On 30 June 1999 he was promoted to Major General and retired in that grade in June 2004. He is a command pilot with more than 3,600 flying hours. Through the more than 40 years of aviation service, General Mechenbier flew the F-4C/D, the F-100, A-7 and C-141C plus more than twenty other aircraft for familiarization including the F-16, F-15, F/A-18 and the Soviet MiG-29.

His other military decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross with cluster, the Purple Heart with cluster, the Air Medal with eight clusters, and the Air Force Commendation Medal.

In 2006 General Mechenbier was recognized by the USAF Academy Association of Graduates as its ninth Distinguished Graduate.

For more than 30 years he has been the television host for several major airshows throughout the country, including the United States Air and Trade Show held in Dayton, Ohio and the Miramar Air Show in San Diego. His last Air Force assignment was serving as the Mobilization Assistant to the Commander, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio and he served as a member of the Reserve Forces Policy Board for the Secretary of Defense.

He has held senior corporate Business Development positions with General Electric Aerospace and Fairchild Industries. In retirement, General Mechenbier is a Consultant with Science Applications International Corporation while serving on several private and public Boards.
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