Warbirds since: 1997. Flies from: Las Vegas, NV. After graduation from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN I was commissioned as a 2Lt through AFROTC and was off to the Air Force Undergraduate Navigator Training (UNT) at Mather AFB, Sacramento, CA. I was lucky to be a distinguished graduate so had my choice of assignments and took a back seat F-4. Two weeks later the “Needs of the AF” had me attending Electronic Warfare Officer School (EWOTS), also at Mather. Nine months later, and also top of the class, I chose an F-105. Two weeks later “the needs of the AF” told me my assignment had been canceled, but as a consolation, I was allowed to choose any assignment in the Strategic Air Command. Knowing what winter was like, I choose March, AFB, in Riverside, CA, rather than Minot, ND. Lesson #1- Never believe anything the government tells you!
I reported to the 2nd Bomb Squadron and was informed I had six weeks to get qualified (which usually took six months), as the crew I was assigned to would deploy to SWA. Following my 3rd tour to SWA, my eyesight miraculously improved. I was accepted to Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vance AFB, Enid, OK. Upon graduation, I was selected as a T-38 Instructor Pilot and Flight Commander. What followed were assignments to, Rockville, Iceland, (Remote) as a Radar Weapons Controller, also flying T-33 and F-4C for the 57th FIS; I was also the AFI/DOC and part of the COMICEDEFOR staff as J-3C. following Iceland I returned to B-52Ds as an Aircraft Commander, Instructor, and Evaluator; earned an MA in International Relations from USC; RAF exchange tour to RAF Marham, then on to Division Chief of Conventional War Plans HQ/SAC; USAF Research Fellow, Published a book, “Strategic Forces in Transition,” completed Air War College, obtained an MBA, and on to the Joint Staff J-5, J-8, and the Chairmen’s Staff Group, where I became a briefer for SECDEF, Casper Weinberger. I escaped the Pentagon to become Deputy Commander for Operations of the 97th Bomb Wing, Blytheville, AR, and then Vice Commander of the 410th Bomb Wing, K.I. Sawyer AFB, MI. Two years later I became the Commander of the 410th and, following Desert Storm (Deployed to Moron, Spain), moved to Nellis AFB, Las Vegas, NV. as the Vice Commander of the USAF Air Warfare Center. I retired in ’94 rather than accept promotion, but have to work as Madeline Albright’s military Advisor at the UN. I was hired by Lockheed on the Shuttle program at Johnson Space Center in Houston, and NASA Dryden at Edwards AFB, CA. I left Lockheed to become a VP of a start- up Software Company, and three years later started my own consulting business. I finally fully retired in 2010 and am still living in Las Vegas. Along the way I have flown the T-29, C-140, T-41, T-37, T-33, T-38, F-4C & J, F-16B, F-15B &E, B-52C,D,E,F,G &H, KC-135R, KC-10, PC-3, HH-3, UH-60, EC-121, Slingsby T.53 glider (RAF), SCHWEIZER TG-3 glider (RAF), Victor K-2 (RAF).
DFC, LOM (2), DMSM (3), AM (5), AFCM (2), VNSM (2), SWASM. 1,700 hrs NAV/EWO; 7,500 hrs Pilot including 2,000 hrs IP in T-38..
Warbirds since: 1906 Flys from KY. Retired 2010 as a Safety Investigator for the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. I also retired in 1994 from the Indiana State Police as a Motor Carrier inspector. I live in east central Indiana near Connersville. My interests are in shooting, fishing, gaming. I have been with WarBirds and the 4th FG since 2010 or 2011. Although not recently, I also enjoy drawing and painting. I am married to Beverly “Gale”, my wife of 52 years. I just celebrated my 72nd birthday. I have two sons, Tony, age 49, and Shawn, age 47 both former Marines. Tony was am scout sniper and Shawn was in 2nd ANGLICO an airborne unit. I have one Grandson, Logan Paul age 15, and one step-grandson Michael, age 23 currently in the Marine Corps., two step granddaughters Victoria, age 18, and Maggie, age 16.
Warbirds since: 1942 Flys from NM. Ben asked me to send you the following information. Ruidoc is a 76-year-old retired psychiatrist. I have had a lifetime of interesting adventures, some good, some not so good. All of my life I have wanted to fly WWII fighters, finally I can. My comment as a wife, Ben was an incredible psychiatrist and very respected in his professional community and by his patients. When he retired he had the time and energy to do some of the things he could not do with the demands of his practice. He has always been a bit of an adventure dog. Loving to travel, read and hunt. This man has fully embraced retirement and there is no stopping him. He is living life to the fullest. Go, Ben!
Warbirds since: 1776 Flys from CA. Barry Willard, born 29 Oct 1944, Front Royal, VA. Attended/graduated from J. I. Burton High School, Norton, VA 1963, BA in History from UVA 1967. Enlisted US ARMY 1967, Commissioned 2d LT of Field Artillery from OCS, Aug 1968. Served at Ft Sill, OK (Center of the Universe) 1968-1970. RVN 70-71, Ft Sill 71-74, Germany 74-77, Ft Knox, KY 77-86. Out 1986, moved to Lexington, KY, worked 86-08, retired 2008. Joined War Birds and 4th FG in 2007.
Honored 4th FG Friend
I have a very wide area of interests, most of it military in nature. I have had these interests since my earliest days. I flew model airplanes around the house when I was 10, helped my dad build rubber powered airplane models, helped him start his RC hobby back in the late 60’s, Favorite shows was Combat, 12 O’clock High, Hogans Hero’s etc.
I hobby in WW 2 reenacting and own a ww2 jeep that I use for Allied reenacting, and a 1937 Chevy 1 1/2 ton truck I have converted over to use as a German Troop truck. I also help crew a ww2 tank that a friend of mine bought from the Saving Private Ryan production. (Tiger Tank) which is actually a T-34/85 and I also drive an SDK/251 German Halftrack when I am not driving the Tank. All in all very much fun. I have always enjoyed airplanes very much also, in particular, WW 1 airplanes and finding Warbirds, with Dawn of Aces was indeed a dream come true for me. I have been fortunate also to spend a fair amount of time flying with my dad in his Beech Debonair and together we both got to ride in and FLY a B-17 for several minutes. I have also ridden in a B-25 and a C-47 which was great fun.
It has been my particular pleasure, however, to assist in the programming aspect of Warbirds, managing the community, holding events and in General donating my time in order to do my best to make Warbirds a pleasurable experience for its customers.
Warbirds since:2016 Flys from OR. Birth to 2002 a complete blur, something to do with a trucking Company, not real sure.Spent 2002-2008 short selling wooden trains in Prescott, AZ. Spent two years selling ice cream in Jacksonville, FL. Spent 2002-2009 researching frisbees in Miami, FL. Spent 2002-2007 merchandising robotic shrimp on the black market. Spent 2001-2007 getting my feet wet with dandruff for farmers. Uniquely-equipped for building human brains in Edison, NJ. 2007-Present gravitated to a very successful snail farming operation in Central Oregon.
I was “born in the USA” in the year of our lord Sep 25, 1946.
As soon as I possibly could I started visiting as many states as I could some of which were California, texas, Nebraska, Mississippi and Puerto Rico and every state between them. Really I did not have much choice since my father was in the newly formed military group “the united states air force”.
I graduated from n. R. Crozier technology high school Dallas, tx in 1964. After a 1 year sabbatical, I attended southwestern university in Waxahachie, texas receiving a degree in biblical studies.
Ordered to report to the US army in June in 1970 I spent 1 year in charge of our battalion aid station after our section chief had a heart attack. I maintained that position until being appointed to take charge of the neu Ulm military community drug\alcohol center. A year and a half later I left the army to attend air force OCS and graduated with a commission of 2nd it. I spent 4 years in the air force as a weapons controller and probably the only one in the 23 air defense who worked an unknown coming in from Canada. I left the air force just before I received the rank of captain.
I had several opportunities to work for the feds in the u-s government. I finally accepted a position in US postal service. There I saw a need for technological training. I went back to the school receiving a degree in digital electronics. Then spent the remainder of my civil service career working the in engineering/maintenance section until I retired on Jan 31, 2014.
I stumbled on warbirds in 1996 while searching the web and was asked to join the 4th f.g. I enjoy the comrade with 4th pilots and have been associated with the 4th fighter group ever since and currently, I am serving as the executive officer for the group.
I love sports such as golf where I spent a couple of years playing scratch golf, fly-fishing, radio controlled aircraft, scuba diving and softball as well as many other sports.
We invite any new pilots to warbirds to join us and our flight stick aficionados.