Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Bill's History

I grew up in South Jersey and west of Philadelphia, the only child of William and Eleanor Sieg. I have no idea who appointed me to the Academy. After graduation I attended pilot training at Williams. My first flying assignment was in KC-135s at Fairchild AFB, Spokane, WA.

I enjoyed flying the tanker and the mission was critical, but I hated SAC. Since Vietnam was heating up and they were asking for volunteers, I made sure my volunteer statement was always up to date. I was in Okinawa supporting Arc Light missions when I got word I was being re-assigned to A-1 Skyraiders. I was ecstatic. While in pilot training I'd seen a picture of a Navy AD sitting on a carrier deck with wall-to-wall bombs and thought “that's a warbird, I want to fly it.” Now here I was! An interesting note. I and two other SAC copilots were a test case - the first young guys to be assigned to Skyraiders. The Air Force was running out of WW II and Korean retreads and needed to know whether “new guys” could handle the bird.

Training to fly the Skyraider was very interesting. First I had to learn what cowl flaps, oil cooler doors, etc were; then I had to learn to land it. The syllabus assumed the student had previous prop and tailwheel time and expected me to solo in 3 rides. That didn't happen. But I finally soloed and continued to my first check ride. The check pilot told me to do a Cuban 8. I hadn't done a Cuban 8 since T-37s, but I'd done loops and Immelmans in the Skyraider, so I figured I could handle it. The first half was fine. Over the top on line, down to 450 nose low, roll to upright and start back up for the second half. However, I didn't keep the nose down long enough to get the 250 kt entry speed and about the time we reached the vertical, I ran out of airspeed and ideas. The check pilot took the airplane and, contrary to my training in jets, closed the throttle to idle! Had he not, we probably would have torque-rolled into spin, which is not a bid deal in the Skyraider, but not part of check ride. So I flunked my check. After a couple of extra rides I passed and finished training.

I got to Vietnam in late 1967, flew slightly over 200 combat missions and returned to the States in October 1968 as a Skyraider IP. I subsequently volunteered for a second tour but because of the shortage of IPs in the Skyraider, I never went back. In 1971 I entered graduate school at AFIT and graduated in December 1972 with a Masters Degree in Astronautics.

I met my wife, Sherry, there. We have 3 sons, John, Scott, and Douglas.

Through one of my A-1 students I'd heard about ADC's 475 Test Squadron at Tyndall AFB, FL, and got an assignment there. In addition to my obligatory engineering work, I also flew F-101s. In 1977 I took over the F-101 Weapon System Evaluation Program (WSEP) and shortly thereafter took over the F-106 WSEP program also. When it came time to mover on, I had a by-name request to fly F-4s in Iceland, but personnel sent me to Vance AFB as a T-37 IP. I served in several positions there: flight commander, academic branch chief, student branch chief, simulator division manager, and base operations officer. As that tour was concluding, I again had a by-name request, this time to Wright-Pat. But AFSC personnel got hold of it and changed it to the Deputy Director for Test and Evaluation at the AFELM of the JCMPO working on the GLCM. Huh? That's the Air Force Element of the Joint Cruise Missiles Program Office working on the Ground Launched Cruise Missile, a clone of the Tomahawk. After a year as the deputy, my boss quit Civil Service and the Program Manager elevated (no promotion involved) me to Director. I served in that position until 1985 when the Air Force again denied me a by-name request to work in OSD and told me I had to go remote either to Turkey or Korea. I declined.

After retiring I worked for 17 years in the Washington area as a contractor supporting the T&E offices in the Pentagon.

We moved to Colorado in 2002 and in early 2003 I got a call from a Mitre guy I knew asking if I wanted to do some T&E support work for him. I agreed and have been doing that ever since. I am currently supporting the Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) system at Los Angeles AFB. And I have no plans to retire.

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