Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Kris ' History

KrisLuraHome150x200.JPG I went to pilot training and halfway through, married Lura, my hometown sweetheart from North Reading, Massachusetts. We've been together through thick and thin for 46 years and counting with four adult married children and 10 grandchildren. Both sons went to the Academy, classes of ‘88 and '94, and became pilots. The oldest got out after 10 years to pursue a very successful business career. The youngest is still in and presently flying F-15s as a squadron commander.
I went to the F-4C and following combat crew training in 1966, straight to the Vietnam War. Stationed at Ubon, Thailand, I flew 100 missions over North Vietnam with the 8th Tac Fighter Wing where the highlight of the tour was having Robin Olds as the Wing Commander. (Be sure to read the story “Tackling Robin Olds” below.)

Following Ubon, I was assigned to RAF Woodbridge, England, flying F-4Cs with the 78th Tac Fighter Squadron. There, on a most fateful day in 1969, I ejected at supersonic speed, miraculously survived and spent 6 years in and out of Air Force hospitals getting all the pieces put back together. (Refer to the story “Bailout” below.) I go on record that it was the grace of Almighty God, a most loving wife and the excellent care of the Air Force that got me through that Valley of the Shadow of Death.

While assigned to USAFA as a math instructor, I got back on flying status and returned to the cockpit in 1975 flying F-4Ds in Korea at Kunsan, followed by F-4Es at Eglin and F-15s at Luke. In 1984 I was lobotomized into maintenance, made Colonel and became the Deputy Commander for Maintenance (the toughest job of my career) at George where I flew the F-4G. In 1986 I went to HQ USAFE at Ramstein as the Chief of Aircraft Maintenance, then on to RAF Mildenhall as the DCS Logistics for 3rd Air Force.

Retiring in 1992, Lura and I went to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as a technical advisor to the Saudi Air Force. After three years of some unbelievably wild adventures, we came back to North Reading. Fulfilling a long-felt call to ministry, I graduated from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 1999 and served as a pastor in our hometown church, Trinity Evangelical. Since 2004, I have served as the President of Massachusetts Family Institute, a non-profit public policy organization.

Lura and I are most thankful to God for the fulfilling life we have had to date, and we look forward to more years of adventure in ministry. We are grateful for the excellent foundation I received from the Academy – especially being a member of the Class of 1964 – and the wealth of experience we had in the Air Force.

Let us run with patience the race that is set before us – Hebrews 12:1
[ Bailout ]
[ Tackling Robin Olds ]
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