Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Richard's Story


Personal Information

Name: Richard and Carolyn Slye
Address: 32 West Riverpoint Drive, Hampton, VA 23669
Phone: (757) 850-1275
E-mail Address:
Number of children: 2
Number of grandchildren: 2

Pilot Training Memories at Webb AFB, TX:

1. The heat in the summer is oppressive and on the flight line you can cook anything on the wing of the aircraft.

2. The barracks rooms had their own special extra large cockroaches that would wake you up in the middle of the night running across the tile floor.

3. The T-38 was such an improvement over the T-37 where the IP could reach over and pull your oxygen hose to get your attention.

Memories of USAF service after pilot training

1. After a fun time at Stead AFB, NV in survival training and gambling in Reno, traveled to France for tactical reconnaissance assignment at Toul Rosieres, AB flying brand new RF-4Cs. Low level, single ship flying in Europe and taking pictures of all the castles was a great way of making a living.

2. However, it was cut short by Charlie DeGaulle when he kicked out all the American military in the summer of 1966. So, went with the same RF-4C squadron from France directly to Saigon, Vietnam at Tan Son Nhut AB for a combat tour. Didn't even stop for “snake school” in the Philippines. Enjoyed the R&R excursions to Hong Kong, Tokyo, Bangkok, and the Philippines.

3. Then back to Europe and Ramstein, Germany in the RF-4C and flying in NATO tactical competitions. Flying night, single ship, low level around Europe is challenging and dropping photo flash cartridges on ranges would wake up the neighbors. Trying to refuel a full load off of a slow KC-97 was like trying to fly formation while stalling out. Had winter flying down in Moron, Spain and at Aviano, Italy. Water survival at Wheelus AB, Lybia was a chance for sunburn.

4. Met my wife at Ramstein AB and had our first child in Germany. Tour with the USAFE Inspector General team was an eye opener on all the missions being flown in Europe.

5. Time out for school at Maxwell and another child and then started a routine of assignments to the Pentagon and back to Europe for flying. Four years in the basement of the Pentagon and the traffic in DC during the early seventies was an introduction to long hours and the government bureaucracy. But then back to Europe and flying RF-4Cs at Zweibrucken AB, Germany and command of a squadron. Then back to the Pentagon for more fun but on the fourth floor with a window with lots of interaction with Congress. Over to Ft McNair school and then down to TAC Headquarters for less than a year before we went back to Europe and flying at Zweibrucken AB in RF-4Cs again.

6. Finally, ended up at Eglin AFB, FL at the Air Warfare Center as the Vice Commander and conducting operational testing on all the AF new tactical products and weapons.

Life after the USAF

1. Moved to Hampton, VA (next to Langley AFB and Air Combat Command) and set up a new office for Litton Industries Electronic Warfare. Worked with all the Hampton Roads military units assessing EW requirements and matching Litton business opportunities. Litton was bought by Northrop Grumman and I worked for them until 2001 when I started my own consulting business in defense strategic planning and business development.

2. I am still working a little with my business but only about 5 to 10 days a month.

3. Carolyn and I travel around the North America and Europe on numerous vacations. I play golf and we are involved in church and community activities.

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