Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Tim's History


It took two years to finally get to the Air Force Academy after high school. One great year at Texas A&M in the Aggie Corps and then 7 months at Colonel Homer Millard Prep School at Langlois, Oregon. Bennie and his wife, Ester "the Captain" did a great job on me as my SATs were high enough to qualify for both Presidential and North Carolina Congressional appointments. After the Texas Aggie upper class hazing and the German Sheppard student control dogs at Millard, my doolie year at the Academy was without many surprises. I do remember trying out for the Academy freshman football team and surprisingly made the team. Team membership lasted long enough for me to recognize that the training table milk shakes at every meal were not worth being a blocking dummy for the JV. The 2-3 month football experience must have been okay as our Squadron won the Wing Rugby Championship one year.

Air Force

After pilot training at 3641st Student Squadron, Laredo AFB, TX, I was assigned to 28th Bomb Squadron, Homestead AFB, FL in B-52Hs. Tiffany was born while at Homestead. Great little red head who has grown into a beautiful mother of Mosey, Jak and Katherine and a superb "working woman" lobbyist in DC. Two years and 26+ hour nuclear airborne alert missions later, I lucked out of Strategic Air Command (SAC) and was assigned to Pacific Air Force in a O-2Bs physiological warfare squadron (9th Air Commando) at Nha Trang Air Base, RVN. After this tour in country, SAC reached out and pulled me back to "buffs" with the 744th Bomb Squadron, Beale AFB, CA. Beale was designated a northern base, by SAC so life was great with skiing about 1 1/2 hour drive from the alert shack. Tami was born while at Beale. Tami is now the mother of Amelia and a web site production director doing work for such companies like Scholastic and PBS.

Assigned to Beale as a B-52G aircraft commander. After a year training the crew, I was off to ARC Light for 6 months. My crew was selected to represent the 456 Strat. Aerospace Wing at Bomb Comp, but I was not able to join them as I was selected for junior officer program at SAC Headquarters. At Offutt AFB, NE, I flew T-39's and worked at the headquarters' directorate aircraft maintenance staff until selection to Aerospace Research Pilot School (ARPS) at Edwards 8 months later. ARPS was the hardest school I have ever been challenged with. Graduated and was assigned to the 4950th Test Wing at Wright-Patterson AFB (WPAFB), OH. The big bird system testing was the only place to go after I spun a T-33 into the Mohave desert. I can remember the further embarrassment when I discovered that the visiting pilots from the British Test Pilot School were watching the tumbles on the school monitors. So much for my technique using the modified NASA spin recovery method. On the plus side, it was a thrill zooming the F104 to 82k+ft altitude and recovering via the X-15 landing profile.

The Wright-Patterson AFB assignment was the start of many years in and out of Dayton, OH. Flew a couple years with the 4950th Test Wing Test Wing and then to the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) for a masters. After AFIT, I was assigned to the Aeronautical Systems Division as a Maverick System Program Manager until Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell. After Air Command and Staff, I was assigned to the Pentagon as the Close Air Support Weapon System Program Element Manager (PEM) until I was assigned as the F-16 PEM. The F-16 PEM was a great job as we were able to support development of many support weapons systems for the aircraft, initiate the 1st Air Force multi-year aircraft procurement, fund the F-16XL demonstrator aircraft and set the stage for the F-16 to be the replacement aircraft as a result of the tragic loss of the T-38 Thunderbird team.

The Pentagon assignments lead to my first and only below the zone promotion to Colonel and assignment back at WPAFB, OH as the F-16 Program Office Director of Development Programs. Short stint at the F-16 Program Office and was off to National War College (NWC). After NWC, General Skantze assigned as the Commander of the AFPRO at AF Plant 44, Tucson, AZ to oversee Hughes Aircraft Company recovery from its quality mess. While in Tucson I met and married Molly and became step dad to Scott. Scott has one son - Austin - is currently working for the Federal Government after several tours in the Army.

Two years at Tucson and after Hughes made significant production quality changes and restarted production, General Skantze was true to his word and assigned me to Aeronautical System Division, WPAFB, OH as the System Program Director LANTIRN. The LANTIRN Program was selected for the 1987 Daedailian Weapon System Award. Another super assignment leading to retirement in the summer 1990 after 26 great years.

Post Air Force

Went to work for Laser Systems Division, Orlando, FL as a program manager immediately after retirement. In 1996 after 6 years at Lasers Systems, being part of a company turn around team and getting to a vice president position, Litton sent me to Litton Systems Canada, Ontario, Canada to turnaround the Canadian subsidiary. Great opportunity to be a aerospace company president in Canada and to be able to have almost unlimited access to the Canadian government officials. The company was headquartered in Toronto with sales, products, engineering development and production. We also had a build-to-print factory in Halifax, naval engineering branch in British Colombia and a lobbyist group in Ottawa.

Molly and I have probably seen more of Canada than 95% of the Canadians. Saw ice sculptures in Ottawa at -20◦, Quebec City on Christmas Eve and beautiful Victoria Island to mention a few places. It was a tremendous 4 years and the company employees and management team turned the company around. Next step was to take over the Navigation Systems Division, Canoga Park, CA - Litton flagship division - which was in trouble. I was not very long at the Navigation Systems Division helm, as Northrop Grumman bought Litton - lock, stock and barrel - and quickly reorganized to Northrop Grumman Baltimore's view of the world. Two years as a VP with Northrop and at the end of our contract, I retired and came back to Tucson.

Went to work with a small subsidiary for Tucson Electric Power in Solar Systems development. Lots of fun with the infant but growing renewable energy industry and retired for the 3rd and last time in 2009 as the SOLON Corporation VP Sales and Engineering,. Some follow-up consulting with SOLON in late 2010 and early 2011 but now off to the St Lawrence River, Molly, the kids and the grandkids.

It's taken almost 71 years but when it all is said and done, family is the single most important thing in my life. I am married to a lovely lady who has supported me without question for the past 25 years, 2 wonderful daughters and a great stepson and now blessed with 5 grand children. The Air Force life and subsequent civilian careers were great pathways to the present.
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