Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Posthumous Awards


The Air Force Academy, in conjunction with the Jabara family and the Association of Graduates, established the Colonel James Jabara Award for Airmanship on January 5, 1967.

With 15 kills, Colonel Jabara was the second leading Air Force ace of the Korean War. Colonel Jabara was the First American Jet Ace. Each year the U.S. Air Force Academy and the Association of Graduates present the Colonel James Jabara Award to an Academy graduate or graduates whose airmanship contributions are of great significance and set them apart from their contemporaries.

In 1969, 1st Lieutenant Karl W. Richter became the first member of the Class of 1964 to receive this prestigious award for his singular achievements as a fighter pilot in Southeast Asia.



The class exemplar program was created to provide a clear and visible attachment for cadets to the great air power leaders of the past. Each class selects an exemplar who serves as the honorary leader of the class, setting its personality and character. The Class of 2000 was the first class to choose an exemplar.

The class exemplar is selected by a vote of the members of a given class. The class normally selects an exemplar committee, which takes nominations from class members for potential exemplar candidates. The criteria for candidates are: (1) the person has to be dead, (2) the person was preferrably an Air Force/Army Air Corps officer and (3) the person contributed significantly to the development of air power.

1st Lieutenant Karl Richter was chosen by the Class of 2008 as their Exemplar. In being named an Exemplar, he joined such illustrious names as Jimmie Doolittle, Billy Mitchell, Lance Sijan, Richard Bong and George S. Patton.


The Class of 1964 spearheaded part of a comprehensive heritage project that may ultimately extend from the cadet parade field, up the battle ramps, across the terrazzo, all the way to the Honor Wall on the west end of the terrazzo. Part of that entire concept is the Mall of Heroes built by the class of 1964 in the grass area adjacent to the McDermott Library on the north end of Fairchild Hall at the base of the Core Values Ramp.

The Class of 1964 had the honor of sponsoring the inaugural display for the Academy's new Mall of Heroes in the grassy area immediately in front of the place older graduates remember as the cadet clinic, to the left as the Cadet Wing marches up the ramp from the parade ground. The project intends to put something tangible in front of the cadets something they can see, reflect upon, and interact with on a daily basis.

ClassicMOH_med.jpg The Mall of Heroes was dedicated in May of 2008. On November 6, 2009, 1st Lieutenant Karl Richter became the first hero to be enshrined as his statue was unveiled in a gala ceremony. Attendees included members of the Classes of 1964 and 2008. Following the welcome and opening remarks by Class of 1964 President Rod Wells and USAF Academy Superintendent Michael C. Gould, Karl's statue was unveiled amid rousing cheers and thunderous applause.

Here is a photo of Karl's statue with members of the Class of 2008.


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