Second Lieutenant William E. Palikainen, United States Air Force Academy Class of 1964, died of a heart attack near Moody AFB, GA on 14 September 1965. He was survived by his wife Pat and an unborn son.
Ed grew up in Union Lake, MI. He entered the Academy following two years at the University of Michigan. While at the Academy, Ed was a member of the 14th Cadet Squadron. He participated in track, judo, weight lifting and skiing. Gary Ryser recalls, “I was fortunate to room with Ed for three semesters during our four years at the Academy. Ed was an attraction in the cadet wing, and especially in the 14th Sq for his 50 inch chest and 32 inch waist. One can imagine the upperclassmen yelling at him to "puff up that chest". Ed had a popular saying "the way I want to remember the AF Academy is in my rearview mirror". Ed was very proud of his red '64 ‘Vette.
Following graduation from the Academy, Bill studied at Stanford University, where he earned a Master of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering. On his way from Stanford to Moody AFB to enter pilot training, Ed and Pat stopped at Vance AFB and stayed the weekend with Judy and I. During his first month at Moody AFB, Ed suffered a massive heart attack one night. He was rushed to the hospital, but could not be revived. He was survived by his wife Pat and an unborn son. Ironically, while at the hospital, a nurse on duty was the future wife of Joe Bavaria, a classmate and 14th Sq classmate. Ed was a favorite amongst his classmates for his sense of humor, common sense approach to life, ability to make light of a bad situation, academic prowess and his military bearing. He was a valued member of the 14th Squadron.
(Gary Ryser, '64)
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