Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Anne Hermanson

By Jim Hermanson

I learned about Anne (our first child)’s birth in an unusual fashion. I was serving in Vietnam when Anne was born. I was scrambled from DaNang as an O-1 FAC to cover a Navy force of boats on a major river south of the base. While en route the DASC contacted me “with a message.” I asked them to stand-by one while I got my grease pencil ready to copy what I assumed would be the info for incoming strike flights. When I said go ahead, the message I received was very different than what I had anticipated. I only remember from the first reading the last part, “… mother and daughter doing fine.” To my request, “Please say again,” the controller stated that he was reading a telegram from the Red Cross concerning the birth of our daughter. Barb was just a couple of months pregnant when I left for Viet Nam; we didn’t know the gender until her arrival. I did jot the specific details down on the side window with the grease pen as we did details for the strike flights. As I continued south to cover the riverines, several leads of strike flights contacted me with congratulations. One asked if Anne was our first child; another suggested adding some altitude as I conducted the airstrikes. It was such a stark contrast in most ways—learning of Anne’s birth just minutes before orchestrating a battle. On the other hand, a major reason for what we were doing was so that Anne, and many others, would have the freedoms that were being denied by our enemies. Our family thanks all those who have helped maintain our freedoms; we are most grateful. After the flight, I got a copy of the Red Cross telegram. Interestingly, it is signed by the DASC duty officer who I later flew with in F-100’s and A-7’s at Sioux City with the Iowa Air Guard.

Anne’s sister, Ingrid, was born in April, 1969, and both girls joined us on several trips back. Ingrid married in 1995, and she and her husband, Kevin, an electrical contractor, have two sets of twins—Grace and Thor, 6, and Caleb and Ryan, 3—plus Zane, almost 2.They live about 10 minutes from us, and we soak up every minute with them that we can.

Anne married her college sweetheart, Steve, in 1991, in our Colorado mountains, which they dearly loved, west of Denver. He became an Army doctor, and she did medical and environmental research.

On 23 April 1995 both Anne and Steve were killed by a runaway truck on Siskiyou Pass in Oregon. They are buried near his family’s home in our southwestern Colorado mountains.
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