Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Jim Renschen Class of 64

jim2.jpg What a day it was. "THE LETTER" came in the mail. Mom wouldn't open it and saved it for me. Did I make it or not? It all started watching the series West Point. I said I wanted to do this, so off I went thru the process. Talked to my congressman and said I wanted to go to the Air Force Academy, because you had to fly when you graduated. HOW COOL!!

Well, all the physicals, tests were taken and I waited. Meanwhile the congressman's office called and said that another person was going to be nominated to Air Force. BUMMER!! I had my choice of West Point or Annapolis, so I said West Point, better on the ground then at sea all the time.

Time to open the letter. Congratulations you have been accepted to the Air Force Academy. What was going on???? Called the congressman's office, they explained that the Primary found a girlfriend and turned it down. Don't you just appreciate LUST or LOVE?

I played a national soccer playoff game with Elizabeth N J, which we won, and then the next day on the train to Colorado. Al McCartor, also from St Louis, was on the train along with others from the east.

The rest is history.

Thoughts while at the Academy.

My Classmates

The Honor Code

Playing Soccer

Military and Civilian

Graduation- Laredo AFB Pilot training. Graduated 6th and got the last fighter- F-4 GIB and volunteered to go to Vietnam. Half way thru got married to a wonderful woman, Christine Herman.

Davis Monthan AFB for F-4 training. Roomed with Mitch Cobeaga and Joel Arnoff. They cut our training short and sent us to George AFB RTU.

Ubon AFB Thailand with Mitch- 433TFS-8TFW. Robin OLDS was Commander and what an experience. I named my 2nd son after him. What a "LEADER". Finished 114 missions.

Kincheloe AFB, MI- Flew T-33 ADC

Peterson AFB, CO-IP and got to give GEN OLDS his check rides in the T-Bird. Didn't go to our 5th Class reunion because I felt I was betraying my classmates by getting out. Jim Lemon called and chewed me out for not coming and said others guys were here and were getting out.

Left the Air Force in OCT '69 went to TWA. Walked in to class and there was Don Shepperd, Wing Commander-'62, I didn't feel so bad getting out seeing him there. We ended up being roommates during training.

TWA based in MCI then forced to go to JFK. Moved to New Jersey, because we were required to live within 90 Minutes of the airport. Had a F-105 slot at McGuire but lost it when McGuire and Atlantic City lost 3 in a month. Shepperd calls me up and says come to Willow Grove and fly the O-2. Turns out to be one of the best times I had. We had a lot of guys who returned from Vietnam.

Furloughed from TWA after 11 months [TWA used to mean Travel With Angels, but turned out to mean Temporary Work Available]. Became a stock broker with Dean Witter in PHL.

Arabs embargoed in '73 and we moved to STL. Went to work for Merrill Lynch and got a slot with the MO ANG flying F-100.

Became a full time technician then went back to TWA after 6yrs and 5 months of furlough and 2 years latter furloughed again.

Lucky to get my technician job back. The kids mother and I were having troubles and decided to go to work for U S Air thinking this would help. In the mean time I stayed with the Guard.

Ended up retiring from the Guard as the Wing commander flying F-15's and then retiring from U S Air. Then flew for the NHL team, Columbus Bluejackets, for 2 years. Left because the season went from SEP TO JUN if you made the playoffs.


I have been fortunate with the two most important women in my life, after my mother, to have them sharing my life with them.

Christine Herman [May she rest in Peace]- We have three wonderful and successful children- Timothy, Colleen, and Robin. 8 wonderful Grand boys.

Patricia Baxter - Married 25 years APR '14.


I feel privileged to have gone to Air Force and especially for my classmates. We have such an accomplished class and I feel so proud to be a member of the Class of 64
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