Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Jabara Award

The 1974 Jabara Award was presented posthumously to Major Robert A. Lodge, United States Air Force Academy Class of 1964, who was shot down over Hanoi on 10 May 1972. The award was accepted by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Lodge of East Hampton, NY.

Major Lodge was honored for his distinguished achievements in air combat tactics in Southeast Asia between 1 January 1972 and 10 May 1972. During that period he shot down three North Vietnamese MIG aircraft while flying the F-4 Phantom II for the 555th (Triple Nickel) Tactical Fighter Squadron at Udorn Royal Thai Air Base. Thailand.

As the Weapons Officer for the 432nd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, which had two fighter squadrons attached, Major Lodge supervised aircrew training in air combat tactics. He increased the Wing’s air-to-air training program, taught classes, administered tests to aircrews and improved aerial training missions.

Major Lodge was the resident expert on weaponry and the air defense system. In this capacity, he developed and imparted tactical skill and expertise to his fellow aircrewmen. This led to the destruction of many enemy aircraft. He extended by six months his two voluntary tours of combat duty in Southeast Asia to see through to completion a new air defense system he established.

With the resumption of the air bombardment of North Vietnam in April 1972, the Udorn-based Wing was given the responsibility for establishing air superiority over North -Vietnam. This was made possible by Major Lodge’s contributions and leadership in aerial tactics.

His fellow airmen considered him to be the most knowledgeable combat flight leader in fighter operations. He was the eighth recipient of the Jabara Award for Airmanship.

(Excerpts from an article appearing in Checkpoints, Fall 1974)
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