15 DEC 2014
On December 15, 2014, Rose passed.
She thoroughly enjoyed receiving the News Letter.
Rosa was the wife of deceased Photomapper James J. Riordan.
Thomas Riordan- Son
12 DEC 2014
Ralph Richmond Ruyle Jr. (1923 - 2014)
Retired LT COL Ralph Richmond Ruyle, Jr., age 91, of Fort Walton Beach, FL., passed away Dec. 12, 2014 at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center. Mr. Ruyle was born Oct. 24, 1923, in Randsburg, CA, to Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Richmond Ruyle, Sr. He was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church having served as a deacon and elder in the church. He loved crossword puzzles, fishing and piloting glider planes. He was a volunteer at the VA Center and was a member of MENSA.
Ralph was a Life Member, Air Force Photo Mapping Association, and was a Pilot, 1375th MCS.He received his degree from UCLA in Meteorology and Mathematics. His true love, other than Libby, was the pursuit of knowledge and tutoring young people.
Predeceased by his parents and four children, Eric, A.J., Bobby, and Herman A., he was survived by his wife of 58 years, Mrs. Elizabeth 'Libby' Ruyle of Fort Walton Beach; two brothers, Adrian Ruyle and Dr. Eugene Ruyle; and one special niece, Janny Morgan, all of whom reside in California. A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014, at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Fort Walton Beach, FL
Submitted By Libby Ruyle
25 NOV 2014
Roland Earl Taff, born in Belleville, IL, on July 12, 1915, passed away on Tuesday, November 25, 2014, at Dammert Geriatric Center.
Rollie enlisted in the Army Air Corps on July 10, 1935. He was stationed at Scott Air Base and assigned to the 15th Observation Squadron. Rollie played second base on Scott Field's Post Baseball Team while he was stationed there. He became interested in aerial photography and studied at the Air Corps Technical School, graduating in May, 1938. He became part of the Photographic Air Squadron at Scott Air Base. Rollie participated in tests to develop a 3-camera technique (trimetrogon) that was installed into the bomb bay of B-17's. The pictures he took were used to make maps for the Allies during World War II. He was honorably discharged from the Army Air Corps in 1947 with the rank of chief warrant officer. In 2010, he was given the "World's Oldest Photo Mapper" award by the Air Force Photo Mapping Association.
Shortly thereafter, Rollie wrote a memoir of his World War II experiences under the title, "World's Oldest Photo Mapper"
Rollie's book was featured in an article in the Belleville News-Democrat in July, 2013.
Rollie worked in audio-visual for 40 years, first at Swank Audio-Visual and then Schiller's, but principally at Gardner Advertising in St. Louis. He retired from Gardner in 1987 as corporate manager of Audio-Visual Services.
Rollie was active at his church, Signal Hill Lutheran, Belleville. He was a member there for 67 years. Rollie served on the Board for Christian Education, many years as an usher, and for eight years was the congregational president. He was always there to lend his audio-visual expertise whenever a play or program was held at the church. In addition, Rollie was chairman of the Circuit Council of the Southern Illinois District/Lutheran Church and president of the Federation of Lutheran Churches, Greater Belleville Area.
Active also in his community, Rollie was a past president of the St. Clair County Fire District Association. He served for 26 years as a trustee of the Northwest St. Clair County Fire Protection District. During his tenure there, Rollie oversaw the purchase of property for construction of their new firehouse as well as the purchase of "Ladder 69", a ladder truck that has helped provide fire protection for the district's residents. Rollie was recognized by the Northwest Fire Protection District for his years of service at a dinner held on Feb. 1, 2007. The Illinois House of Representatives declared the month of January, 2007, "Roland E. Taff Month" and the County of St. Clair proclaimed Feb. 1, 2007, "Roland Taff Day" in remembrance of Rollie's contributions to the Fire District. The firemen plan to honor Rollie with a walk through at his funeral service.
Rollie was preceded in death by his parents, Benjamin H. and Louisa A., nee Wehmeier, Taff; brothers, Ed Taff (Sidonia) and Paul Taff; sisters, Charlotte Pabst (Glen) and Anne Louise Wiltenberg (Rev. William); and a brother-in-law, George Brewer.
Surviving are his beloved wife the former Marion E. Miller, whom he married on Jan. 17, 1942; sons, Gary L. Taff and Greg. L. Taff (Linda); grandchildren, Sarah Humes (Eric) and Meghan Taff (Michael Clarke); great-grandchildren, Claire, Emilie, Elise, and Chloe Humes; sisters, Ruth Brewer (George) and Lois Stroh (Bob); a sister-in-law, Dawn Taff; as well as nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
Rollie loved his family with his whole heart. He was their patriarch; a rock-solid anchor. His family will deeply miss this truly honorable man.
Special thanks to the staff at Memorial Convalescent Center, Dammert Geriatric Center, and Hospice of Southern Illinois.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are appreciated to Signal Hill Lutheran Church, 8100 West Main St., Belleville, IL.
Visitation: Friends may call from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Signal Hill Lutheran Church, Belleville, IL.
Funeral: Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at the church with Pastor Jonathan Hemler officiating. Interment will follow at Valhalla Gardens of Memory, Belleville, IL.
Addendum 30 NOV 2014
Judy and I represented the AFPMA at Rollie's services yesterday. We had great weather for a change so that was welcome. They had a table full of impressive awards that Rollie had received during his long life, but the family assured me that none was treasured more than our Oldest Trophy during the last four years of his life, and his receipt of it was mentioned by the minister during the funeral service. A two person Honor Guard from Scott AFB participated in the graveside service, and they presented the flag to Rollie's wife, Marion, at the close. That, of course, drew the normal tears from Marion and the audience. Otherwise the family was very upbeat and all agree that it was Rollie's time and that he is in a better place. The last month of his life was apparently very tough on him as his body quit but his mind didn't.
LT COL Edward B. Mastin Jr USAF RET
29 OCT 2014
Edward passed away 29OCT2014, MORE INFOHERE
Ash interment at Arlington Cemetery MAY2017.
Submitted by Edward Mastin, Son.
Dale B. Peckman
3 OCT 1928-23 OCT 2014
Retired Colonel Dale B. Peckman, USAF, 86, of North Huntington, PA, passed away Thursday October 23, 2014 in the Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital, Greensburg, PA. He was born October 5, 1928 to the late Arnold L. and Wilma (Buckingham) Peckman in McKeesport, PA, he graduated from McKeesport High School in 1946,and also graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1950 with a BA degree in secondary Education, having majored in Latin.
Dale enrolled in the ROTC, and was commissioned in 1950 as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. He was subsequently integrated as a career officer into the Regular Air Force; his service spanned the Korean War, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War. Dale was the holder of several Air Medals (63 combat sorties and 195 combat pilot hours), several Meritorious Service Medals, the Bronze Star and many other military decorations.
He was a graduate of the USAF Pilot Training Program having achieved the rating of Command Pilot prior to his retirement. He held diplomas from the USAF Squadron Officers school, the Air Command and Staff College, the Air War College, the University of Southern California (accident investigation and prevention) and New York University (safety engineering); he held an MS Degree from George Washington University.
Subsequent to his retirement from the Air Force, Dale managed Campbell airport in the Pittsburgh area.
Later, he taught Communications, Business Law and Macro-Economics at Westmoreland Community College and the Monroeville School of Business, Monroeville, PA.
Dale had a parallel career in music. In the late forties, he played trombone with the Benny Banack Orchestra in the Pittsburgh area and successfully auditioned with the Raymond Scott Hit Parade Orchestra. Later he played euphonium and trombone in the Allegheny Brass Band, the National Award Winning Dominion Brass Band of Virginia, the Tidewater Winds, the Jeannette, PA, Community Band and the Westmoreland Community College Orchestra and Stage Band.
Dale enjoyed travel and was an active participant in many fraternal organizations.He was a Life Member of the Air Force Photo Mapping Association, holding the 27th Oldest Photomapper position. He was a life member of the National Order of Daedalians, a fraternal order of military pilots, originally qualifying for a membership by having flown an air Force Prop Jet setting a world speed record between Honolulu, Hawaii and El Paso, Texas. He was a life member of the VFW, a life member of the American Legion. He was a former member of Toastmasters International and served many years, including a year as King Lion, with the Lions Club International.
Dale was an active member of the First United Methodist Church off Irwin.
Dale is survived by his beloved wife of 64 years, Shirley Eileen Bryce; and children retired Colonel (USAF) Todd Dale Peckman and wife, Dorothy, of O’Fallon, IL., Kim Eileen Nascone and husband, Christopher, of Huntsville, Al., Beth Anne Zubalik and husband, C. Michael, of Greensburg, Lee Anne Harkins and husband, Jerome D., of Irwin.
Dale is also survived by his six loving grandchildren, David Peckman and wife, Linda, Lauren Peckman, Matthew Nascone and wife, Adrienne, Megan Zubalik, Jarrod Harkins and Brandee Harkins; a sister Zoe Louise Slagle and husband, Jim; sister-in-law Barb Owen; a brother-in-law Bruce Bryce and wife Anne and several nieces and nephews. To honor Dale’s request there will be no viewing. A memorial service will be held Monday November 17, 2014 at the First United Methodist Church with Rev. David Lake his Pastor officiating.
Interment will take place in the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies.
Click Thumbnail For Larger Image
21 OCT 2014
Ervin E. Sieczynski
January 7, 1925 - October 21, 2014
15 SEP 2014
Kenneth J. Betts
Kenneth left this world Monday 15th September 2014.
He was born in Stockett Montana, June 21st 1932, attended the Betts School on Calvert Road, Stockett, until 8th Grade, then he attended Centerville School, until Graduation in 1950, where he was the 2nd generation to graduate from Centerville School while living on the Homestead Ranch.
In 1951 Kenneth decide to flap his wings and join the A/F where he was able to visit many places such as Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and many other countries. He only brought back one permanent souvenir, and that was his wife, Ruth, which stayed by his side for close to 61 years, except when he was busy traveling with the USAF. Ken was a ground station member of the 1374th Mapping and Charting Squadron, 1370th PMW, Turner AFB, GA.
Ken meet his bride in Ipswich , U.K. and got married December 5th 1953, They were blessed with 3 sons Dale (Kathy ) Douglas (Okmi) and Daniel (Kathleen ) who in time the 3 sons produced 5 grandsons and 2 granddaughters, plus 1 Great Grandson and 2 Great granddaughters.Viewing will be at Croxford Funeral Home on Friday from 6 pm-8 pm and also an hour before the service. Funeral services will be Saturday 20th at Croxfords Rose Room Chapel at 10AM. Luncheon will be held directly after the Graveside Service at Highland Cemetery with Military Honors, at Our Saviours Lutheran church.
Kenneth was the 3rd child born to his parents. Ken was preceded by death by his parents Raymond, better known as R.J., mother Gladys (Rankin); brother, Lawrence; sister, Clarice; and son, Douglas.
Submitted By Earl Mahoney
10 JUL 2014
Hello, My name is Jessica and I got your email address whilst looking through the 1370 website, hoping to come across photographs of my father Lawrence Rueden, who passed away last year. I am not sure if you would have known him, but I thought you might know how to go about finding out whom he might have been in connection with, or where abouts I should look on the site. He was in the air force from 1957-1962, was an airplane mechanic, designed an emblem on one of the planes that was a 'Yosemite Sam'. He was a young guy during his time, in fact just 17 when he joined. I know he was stationed in Albany Georgia and traveled to Hawaii, Guyana, Greenland, Iceland, etc, if that's of any help. Thank you for your time, Jessica 7 JUL 2014 June Arlene Stewart It is with a heavy heart that I'm notifying you that my Mother, June
Stewart, passed away peacefully with no pain yesterday at Tampa General Hospital from complications of a brain injury she sustained when she fell
two weeks ago. Mother had a full and extraordinary life and will be missed. She loved receiving your emails full of gossip, stories, jokes
and information and it was the highlight of her day. She enthusiastically checked her emails daily looking to hear from you all and you never
disappointed. There was always a message there from someone. She would want me to tell each of you that she loved you and was blessed to have you
in her life. Cindy Graham June's Daughter Should you have any questions don't hesitate to call me at (813)672-3802 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org June's Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held July 30th, at Freedom Plaza 1010 American Eagle Blvd Sun City Center, Florida 33573 at 10:00 a.m. in the auditorium. June Stewart was cremated at Zipperer's Funeral Home 1520 33rd Street SE Ruskin, FL 33570 (813)645-6130 June is survived by three sons and a daughter: Martin Van Buren Stewart, Jr. of Murfreesboro, TN; Dennis Marshall Stewart of Higginsville, MO; Mitchell Wayne Stewart of Grass Valley, CA; and Cynthia Stewart Graham of Riverview, FL. June also has four Grandchildren and four Great Grandchildren. June had an extraordinary life, but it was never as fulfilling after her husband, Marty, passed away. They are now blessedly together again, and we find solace with that thought. Her sons & daughter, Martin, Denny, Mitch & Cindy, will take her remains later in the year to her final resting place and beloved home near her husband Marty Stewart in Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington state. Click HEREfor Biography 11 JUN 2014 Sid DeBoer 1916 - 2014
My name is Jessica and I got your email address whilst looking through the 1370 website, hoping to come across photographs of my father Lawrence Rueden, who passed away last year. I am not sure if you would have known him, but I thought you might know how to go about finding out whom he might have been in connection with, or where abouts I should look on the site.
He was in the air force from 1957-1962, was an airplane mechanic, designed an emblem on one of the planes that was a 'Yosemite Sam'. He was a young guy during his time, in fact just 17 when he joined. I know he was stationed in Albany Georgia and traveled to Hawaii, Guyana, Greenland, Iceland, etc, if that's of any help.
Thank you for your time,
7 JUL 2014
June Arlene Stewart
It is with a heavy heart that I'm notifying you that my Mother, June Stewart, passed away peacefully with no pain yesterday at Tampa General Hospital from complications of a brain injury she sustained when she fell two weeks ago. Mother had a full and extraordinary life and will be missed. She loved receiving your emails full of gossip, stories, jokes and information and it was the highlight of her day. She enthusiastically checked her emails daily looking to hear from you all and you never disappointed. There was always a message there from someone. She would want me to tell each of you that she loved you and was blessed to have you in her life.
Should you have any questions don't hesitate to call me at
or email me at
June's Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held July 30th, at Freedom Plaza 1010 American Eagle Blvd Sun City Center, Florida 33573 at 10:00 a.m. in the auditorium. June Stewart was cremated at Zipperer's Funeral Home 1520 33rd Street SE Ruskin, FL 33570 (813)645-6130 June is survived by three sons and a daughter: Martin Van Buren Stewart, Jr. of Murfreesboro, TN; Dennis Marshall Stewart of Higginsville, MO; Mitchell Wayne Stewart of Grass Valley, CA; and Cynthia Stewart Graham of Riverview, FL. June also has four Grandchildren and four Great Grandchildren. June had an extraordinary life, but it was never as fulfilling after her husband, Marty, passed away. They are now blessedly together again, and we find solace with that thought. Her sons & daughter, Martin, Denny, Mitch & Cindy, will take her remains later in the year to her final resting place and beloved home near her husband Marty Stewart in Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington state. Click HEREfor Biography 11 JUN 2014 Sid DeBoer 1916 - 2014
1010 American Eagle Blvd Sun City Center, Florida 33573 at 10:00 a.m. in the auditorium.
June Stewart was cremated at Zipperer's Funeral Home
1520 33rd Street SE
Ruskin, FL 33570
June is survived by three sons and a daughter: Martin Van Buren Stewart, Jr. of Murfreesboro, TN; Dennis Marshall Stewart of Higginsville, MO; Mitchell Wayne Stewart of Grass Valley, CA; and Cynthia Stewart Graham of Riverview, FL. June also has four Grandchildren and four Great Grandchildren.
June had an extraordinary life, but it was never as fulfilling after her husband, Marty, passed away. They are now blessedly together again, and we find solace with that thought.
Her sons & daughter, Martin, Denny, Mitch & Cindy, will take her remains later in the year to her final resting place and beloved home near her husband Marty Stewart in Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington state.
Click HEREfor Biography
11 JUN 2014
1916 - 2014
Sidney V. DeBoer, age 98, of Battle Creek, passed away Wednesday, June 11, 2014.
Born May 31, 1916 to Samuel and Hazel DeBoer and preceded by two brothers Worthington and Victor DeBoer, also sister Beverly Wickman and half-brother Frederick DeBoer. He was married in 1943 to the former Mildred Ruth Anunson; she preceded him in death in 1995. He is survived by his brother H. Russell DeBoer of Kalamazoo, several nieces and nephews, as well as several grandnieces and grandnephews. Along with family, Sid had two very special guardian angels, Kay Calley-Martin and Martha Brietwieser of Battle Creek.
Mr. DeBoer graduated from Kalamazoo Public Schools in 1935. Drafted into the United States Army in 1941 he was commissioned after completing Air Corps Training School of Photography, Second Lieutenant and Photo Lab Commander upon graduation at Yale University, 1943. During his years of service Sid was stationed in Washington D.C., Bradley, Connecticut, Africa and the Middle East and honorably discharged in 1946.
He graduated with a Bachelor's Degree from Western Michigan College of Education in 1948. Teaching at Battle Creek Central High School he continued to carry on his graduate studies at the University of Michigan receiving a Master's Degree. He then went on to advanced graduate studies at W.M.U., Michigan State University, University of Michigan and Rocky Mt. Biological Laboratory in Crested Butte, Colorado.
Sid then taught and was Chairman of the Department of Science and Mathematics at Kellogg Community College retiring after 30 years in 1978.
Sid was a Life Member of The Air Force Photo Mapping Association, and #3 on their Oldest Photomapper List
In accordance with his wishes, cremation has taken place and a Graveside Service was held Monday June 23, 2014 at 2:00 PM at Fort Custer National Cemetery. A gathering was held following the service from 3:00 to 5:00 PM at the Ashton Lake Clubhouse.
In lieu of flowers, Sidney found the following organizations closest to his heart, as a memorial, please donate to K.C.C. Foundation Student Loans, Battle Creek Symphony Music Center or Rocky Mt. Biological Lab.
Arrangements by the Richard A. Henry Funeral Home.
7 JUN 2014
1935 - 2014
Edgar 'Ed' Gary Levine, of Tecumseh Kansas, passed away on June 7, 2014 at the age of 78, after a determined 17 year battle with cancer. Through it all, he exuded only a positive and friendly personality.
Per his wishes and in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Wounded Warrior Project at woundedwarriorproject.org
Ed was born in Pompano Beach, Florida in 1935 to William and Rachel Levine.
He graduated from Miami Central High School and promptly entered the United States Air Force on a five-dollar bet. In the Air Force, he attended Officer Candidate School and received his commission as a second lieutenant, and went on to flight training school where he became a pilot and flew 10 types of airplanes, C-130s being his favorite to fly. Continuing in the Air Force, he went on to have a distinguished, 23 year career and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. During his career he was stationed at 13 Air Force bases and did temporary duty in 22 countries.
His second career was as the Director of Transportation at Stormont Vail Regional Medical Center where he retired after 18 years in 1997.
He married his wife of 50 years, Judie, on October 6th, 1963.
Ed is survived by Judie and their dog Effie; his daughter Christy, and her husband Kevin, and grandson Kyle; his son Ed and wife Diane, and grandsons Christopher and Jacob; and his brother-in-law Troy, and too many dear friends to count, let alone name./p>
Ed was preceded in death by his brother Marshal Levine.
A memorial service celebrating his wonderful and fulfilling life was held on Monday, July 28th at 11:00 am at Reynolds Lodge at Lake Shawnee.
Eds remains were interned in Arlington National Cemetery with a family only service.
3 MAY 2014
Normand J. Chagnon.
Normand was born on November 21, 1933 and passed away on Saturday, May 3, 2014. Normand was a resident of Laurel, Maryland.
My father-in-law, Normand Chagnon passed away May 3rd. He spoke often of flying with the Photomappers. We have always enjoyed looking through the website photos. I think he would have liked me letting you know.
10 APR 2014
Fritz L. McCLORY
Fritz L. Mc Clory, 82, of West Palm Beach passed away on April 10, 2014 under the care of Hospice of Palm Beach County. He was born and raised in Indiana.
Fritz joined the Air Force in 1949, proudly served during the Korean and Viet Nam Conflicts, for 20 years until his retirement in 1969.
He was employed with Western Electric until it became AT and T where he worked until his retirement in 1983.
He was a member of the Lake Worth Moose Lodge.
Fritz was preceded in death by his wife Wanda L. in 1998. His survivors include his five children: Robert J. (Mary) Mc Clory, Michael A. (Valerie) Mc Clory, Amy Ernst, Theodore R. (Fran) Mc Clory, and Elizabeth A. Bauer. He also leaves 10 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren, 4 brothers: Will, David, Rex, Cecil, and numerous nieces, nephews and a host of friends.
He was laid to rest at Lake Worth Memory Gardens. In lieu of flowers memorial donations in his name may be made to Hospice of Palm Beach County 5300 East Avenue, West Palm Beach, FL. 33407.
Submitted by Amy Ernst
29 MAR 2014
Eris M. Tilton
Eris M. Tilton, of Albany, GA died Thursday, May 29, 2014, at Palmyra Nursing Home.
Born in Bishopville, SC, Mrs. Tilton was a veteran of WW II serving in the Army and was a homemaker. She was of the protestant faith.
Eris and Jim are Life Members, Air Force Photo Mapping Association.
Survivors include her husband, Jim Tilton, Albany, GA, a son, Buck Tilton and his wife, Kathleen, Lander, WY, and two daughters, Gaye Tillotson and her husband, Terry, Kansas City, MO, Terry Musgrove, Albany, GA and seven grandchildren.
The family will receive friends Monday from 10:00 a.m. until the funeral hour at Mathews Funeral Home.Funeral services will be conducted Monday, June 2, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at Mathews Funeral Home. Rev. Ben Rice will officiate. Interment will follow in Floral Memory Gardens Cemetery.
Those desiring may make memorials to VFW Post #2785, 315 Philema Road, Albany, GA 31701.
21 May 1936 to 24 MAR 2014
Royce Leon Harrison
13 FEB 2014
Ronald Cecil McCollister
Ronald Cecil McCollister, 71, husband of Shirley Smith McCollister, died Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, at his residence.
Born Feb. 28, 1942, in Montgomery, Ala. He was a son of the late Robert Cecil McCollister and the late Mattie Sue Clark McCollister. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran and retired at Shaw Air Force Base. He was a member of the Sergeants Association; VFW; National Rifle Association and the Goat Island Boat Club. Mr. McCollister was best known for his original wood carvings and paintings.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years; a son, Royce Cullen (Penny) McCollister of Johnsonville; five grandchildren, Amber McCollister, Kalyn McCollister; Caleb McCollister; Breanna (Jamie) McCollister, and Brad (Shannon) Hammond; two great-grandchildren, Chase Hammond and Cooper Hammond; one sister, Laura Sue (Carl) Matula of Sumter; his mother-in-law, Henrietta Smith; a brother-in-law, Alan (Teresa) Smith; a sister-in-law, Patricia (Boyd) Ridgeway; and numerous cousins, aunts, uncles and friends.
He was preceded in death by a son, Ronald Kevin McCollister.
A memorial service with full military honors will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday in the chapel of Stephens Funeral Home with the Revs. Larry Lewis and Billy Griffith officiating.
30 JAN 2014
Leland Louis Hildebrand
He was born 3 June 1938 at Butternut, Wisconsin and graduated from high school in Chicago, Illinois May 1956. I entered the USAF as an Aviation Cadet 25 July 1958 completed Navigation Training and was commissioned 6 July 1959.
Hildebrand trained and served with: 363rd TRW at Shaw AFB South Carolina until August 1962 (W/RB-66). 7167th ATS and 1455th ATS at Rheinmain AFB until August 1965 (C-54 C-118). 1371st Mapping and Charting Squadron and 1st Aerial Cartographic and Geodetic Squadron at Turner AFB and Forbes AFB until March 1971 (RB-50 C-54 C-118 RC-135). 4455 CCTS at Davis-Monthan AFB through September 1971 and 13th TFS Udorn Royal Thai AFB until disaster 18 December 1971 (F-4D). Completed my Bachelor Degree requirements at the University of Nebraska at Omaha Bootstrap TDY January 1970.
Air Force assignments took him to more than a dozen locations around the world flying bomber, transport, reconnaissance, MedEvac, and fighter aircraft, and later in Staff Officer assignments. Official travel took him to many exotic places in Europe, Africa, South America, Asia, and the South Pacific. Places like London, Paris, Lisbon, Rome, Beirut, Moscow, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Berlin, Vienna, Athens, Madrid, Ankara, Tripoli, Naples, Nice, Tehran, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Asmara Ethiopia, Santiago Chile, Caracas Venezuela, Bogota Columbia, Monrovia Liberia, American Samoa, and of course, Hanoi. U.S. assignments were in Texas, California, South Carolina, Georgia, Kansas, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah. Of his more than 27 years active service, over nine years were spent outside the U. S.
After attending F-4 Combat Crew Training at Davis-Monthan AFB AZ in 1971, he was assigned to the 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Udorn AB, Thailand. On 18 December 1971, during his 20th mission, his F-4 was downed while flying MIGCAP for a rescue mission. Then a Major, he spent more than 15 months as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam.
Shot Down: December 18, 1971
Released: March 28, 1973
Subsequent assignments included Graduate School at the University of Arizona; the Air Force Accounting and Finance Center in Denver; Director of Cost and Management Analysis, HQ USAFE, Ramstein AB, Germany; Comptroller, Ogden Air Logistics Center, and Director, Logistics Management Systems, Ogden Air Logistics Center, Hill AFB, Utah. Col Hildebrand retired from the Air Force in December 1985.
After his Air Force retirement, Col Hildebrand took a position with Electronic Data Systems in EDS' Federal Government Group. During his last four years with EDS he worked directly with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) guiding the development of information systems to support the delivery of health care to the Armed Forces. He retired from EDS on 31 January 1996.
Colonel Hildebrand is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Arizona. He is also a graduate of the Air Force's Air Command and Staff College, and the Air War College.
He is a master navigator with nearly 5,000 flying hours. Among his military awards and decorations are the: Legion of Merit; Distinguished Flying Cross; Bronze Star with V device; Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters; Air Medal with oak leaf cluster; Prisoner of War Medal; Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster; Purple Heart; and Vietnam Service Medal with six bronze stars.
Colonel Hildebrand married the former Evelyn McClam of Lake City, South Carolina, on 8 October 1960. They have two sons, Leland and James, and two grandchildren. He and his wife live in Vienna, Virginia but they are planning a move to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina in mid-1996.
COL Leland L. Hildebrand, USAF (Retired) passed away on 30 January 2014 in Denver, Colorado at the age of 75 years. Leland was born in Butternut, WI on 3 June 1938. His family of 11 children lived on a farm. He entered the USAF on 25 July 1958 as an Aviation Cadet. He was a veteran of over 27 years and served in the Vietnam War based in Thailand. He was captured in North Vietnam on 19 December 1971 and held in POW camps until 28 March 1973. His Air Force career took him to numerous countries around the world and he flew in six different airplanes from the vintage RB-50 and C-54 to the then modern F-4. His flying career ended in 1971 and after graduate school he worked in the USAF Comptroller/Information Systems career fields. Leland retired from the Air Force on 1 December 1985 and then was employed with Electronic Data Systems in the Washington D.C. area for 12 years. He travelled to all 50 states in the U.S.
Leland received his High School diploma from the American School, Chicago, IL, a Bachelor of Science (BS) at the University of Omaha, NE, and he earned a Master's Degree of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.
COL Hildebrand earned the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, two Bronze Stars, two Meritorious Service Medals, two Air Medals, two Commendation Medals, Purple Heart, Prisoner of War Medal, and eight additional medals and ribbons.
Leland is survived by his beloved spouse, Evelyn, two sons, two daughters-in-law, and eight grandchildren. He is also survived by four sisters and three brothers. His Father and Mother predeceased him as well as two brothers and one sister. He is also survived by hundreds of relatives and many friends.
Funeral arrangements are as follows: Denver Veterans Affairs Hospital Chapel at 1055 Clermont St, Denver, CO, Funeral Mass on Monday, 3 February at 1100. Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery. Memorial prayers will be at the gravesite at a date to be determined.
Cadet has personal connection with former POW
Cadets from the Mount Vernon Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol attended a briefing by a former prisoner of war during a recent visit to Joint Base Andrews, Md. Oct. 13.
Former Air Force Captain Bill Arcuri presented an account of his tours in Vietnam while visiting the 201st Airlift Squadron at Andrews.
Cadets listened intently to Arcuri’s description of his B-52 aircraft being shot down in North Vietnam by three surface-to-air missiles on the third night of Operation Linebacker II in December 1972.
Following his capture Arcuri spent 55 days at the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" prison before his release in February 1973.
As Arcuri finished his presentation, a cadet rose in the back of the auditorium to ask a question. "Sir, did you happen to know Leland Hildebrand," the cadet asked. "He was my grandfather."
"Yes, I did," answered Arcuri.
Hildebrand (then a Major in the U.S. Air Force) had been forced to eject from his F-4 aircraft over North Vietnam and was taken as a POW in December 1971.
Hildebrand was there in Hanoi when Arcuri arrived. In all, Hildebrand served 467 days in captivity before his release a month after Arcuri’s in 1973.
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. James Hildebrand, the grandson of a hero, had just met another hero who served with honor alongside his grandfather forty years earlier.
Retired Col. Hildebrand lives in Colorado and Arcuri resides on Florida.
27 JAN 2014
Vollenweider, John Allen "Jack"
May 8, 1935 - Jan. 27, 2014
© 2014-AFPMA and Aerial Survey and Photomapping History