USAF Special Operations Hall of Fame

 

The USAF Special Operations Force (SOF) Hall of Fame was officially dedicated by BGen Robert L. Cardenas, SOF’s Third commander, April 26, 1969, in conjunction with the seventh anniversary of the Force.  Located in the main hallway of the SOF headquarters building, on Eglin AFB, the Hall of Fame includes 20 Air Force men who, through their leadership and dedication, were instrumental in the success and accomplishments in the field of special operations.  These men were chosen, not for a single act of heroism, but for their significant contributions to worldwide special operations.

 

The history of special operations date back to World War II with the formation of the 1st Air Commando Group in 1944.  With Colonel Philip G. Cochran as Commander, they were instrumental in supporting British Brigadier Orde C. Wingates' operation in the China-Burma-India Theater.

 

Tactical Air Command first entered the special operations field in April 1961 with the activation of the 4400th Combat Crew Training Squadron at Hurlburt, FL nicknamed “Jungle Jim.”   This nucleus trained USAF aircrews in the varied-and-difficult skills of special operations.  These airmen in turn, became advisors and instructors to airmen of friendly foreign nations that were potential targets of Communist aggression.

 

The Special Operations Force was formerly called the Special Air Warfare Center until its redesignation in July 1968.  Because of the increasing emphasis on counterinsurgency training programs, the SOF concept grew from a training squadron in 1961 to a numbered air force equivalent headquarters with two wings, a special operations school, and global commitments.

                  The Air Commando Association Hall of Fame

 

In 2006 there were no inductees into the ACA Hall of Fame.  This has created some interest and concern by ACA members and, perhaps, I should have explained what happened at the annual business meeting.  The reason is simply the HOF committee did not recommend any of the nominees for induction based on their judgement that none of the nominees made significant contributions to special operations.  The ACA Board, the final approving authority, supported the recommendation of the Committee.

                                               History

The HOF was initiated in 1968 at the Special Air Weapons Center, Eglin AFB.  Brig Gen Cardenas dedicated the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Force (SOF) HOF on 26 April, 1969.  Twenty airmen who made special worldwide contributions to special operations were inducted and their pictures hung on the walls of Special Operations Headquarters, Eglin AFB.

 

No other actin was taken until 1994 when the Air Commando Association took the initiative and revitalized the HOF.  Each year thereafter there were inductions until this year, 2006.

 

There are 131 member: 89 officer, 42 enlisted

 

INDUCTED 1969

 

1.         MGEN GILBERT L. PRITCHARD

2.         COL BENJAMIN H. KING

3.         COL HARRY C. "HEINIE" ADERHOLT

4.         LT COL ROBERT L. "BOB" GLEASON

5.         COL CHESTER A. JACK

6.         COL WILLIAM C. "BILL" THOMAS

7.         MAJ QUINTON H. EVANS

8.         TSGT RICHARD L. FOXX

9.         MAJ JOSEPH W. "JOE" KITTINGER, JR

10.       LT COL HOMA B. STILLWELL

11.       MAJ LEROY W. "SVEDE" SVENDSON

12.       MAJ GEORGE G. DUKE

13.       MAJ JIMMY A. IFLAND

14.       MAJ LAWRENCE "LARRY" ROPKA, JR

15.       CMSGT JAMES A. "JIM" CHERRY

16.       SMSGT CHARLES LOKOTOS

17.       SMSGT ROLAND H. "HAP" LUTZ

18.       MSGT CARLOUS L. "CHRIS" CHRISTIAN

19.       SMSGT CHARLES L. "CHARLIE" JONES

20.       TSGT JACK KELSO

 

 

 

INDUCTED 1994

 

1.         CAPT CARTER HARMAN

2.         COL PHILIP G.  COCHRAN

3.         MGEN JOHN R. ALISON

4.         CAPT JOSEPH A. BILLINGS

5.         MGEN LEVI R. CHASE

6.         LT COL W. W. "BILL" JOHNSON

7.         MSGT ARTHUR E. BURRELL

8.         COL W. ROBERT EASON

9.         MGEN JAMES L. HOBSON, JR

10.       LGEN LEROY J. MANOR

11.       SMSGT CHARLES E. DAY

12.       GEN MICHAEL J. DUGAN

13.       MAJ DAVID E. HENRY

14.       SMSGT VANCE M. HINCH

15.       CAPT JOHN D. MITCHELL

16.       MAJ BROOKS MORRIS

17.       LT COL PHILLIP W. O'DWYER

18.       CAPT JOHN L. PIOTROWSKI

19.       MGEN RICHARD V. SECORD

20.       MSGT RAYMOND J. BOURQUE

21.       MSGT JAMES M. FITZPATRICK

22.       SMSGT DAREL L. McCOMBIE

23.       CMSGT JAMES H. LAWRENCE

24.       MAJ WILLARD ELLEDGE

25.       MAJ EUGENE P. "GENO" VALENTINE

26.       SMSGT GAYLORD L. HALL

27.       CMSGT JAMES A. HOWELL

28.       MAJ BERNARD F. FISHER

29.       LT COL WILLIAM A. JONES

30.       LT COL JOE M. JACKSON

31.       SGT JOHN J. LEVITOW

32.       CAPT JAMES P. FLEMING

 

 

 

INDUCTED 1995

 

1.         CAPT JAMES H. AHMANN

2.         LT COL ARTHUR W. "CAL" CALLAWAY

3.         LT COL H. JERRY CARLILE

4.         COL JOHN T. CARNEY, JR

5.         COLDREXEL "BARNEY" COCHRAN

6.         LT COL JOHN S. CONNORS

7.         COL KENNETH E. HELLER

8.         COL LEON E. HESS

9.         SMSGT CLYDE HOWARD

10.       CMSGT ROBERT "RED" JONES

11.       CMSGT MICHAEL I. LAMPE

12.       COL RAYMOND H. LAHMEYER

13.       LT COL ROBERT E. MOIST

14.       MAJ DONALD NICHOLS


 

15.       MAJ WILLIAM E. POWERS

16.       MSGT FRANK J. "TURK" TOSSAS

17.       COL LEONARD "LEE" VOLET

 

 

 

INDUCTED 1996

 

1.         COL CHARLES W. BROWN

2.         SSGT JOSEPH J. CONATY, JR

3.         CMSGT ROBERT L. GABRIEL

4.         COL KEITH R. GRIMES 

5.         MAJ JOHN W. GROVE

6.         CMSGT MICHAEL J. HOSENBAKEZ

7.         LT COL JEROME W. KLINGAMAN

8.         CMSGT JOHN C. RODDICK

9.         LT COL JAMES F. YEALY

10.       MSGT STANLEY G. ZAJAC

 

 

 

INDUCTED 1997

 

1.         CAPT ALFRED G. PLATT

2.         MAJ EDWIN J. RHEIN

3.         LT COL EUGENE D. ROSSEL

4.         BGEN NORTON A. SCHWARTZ

5.         LT COL THOMAS L. WICKSTROM

 

 

 

INDUCTED 1998

 

1.         COL PHILLIP J. CONRAN

2.         COL JOHN A. DOONAN

3.         CMSGT LAMAR H. DOSTER

4.         MAJ RICHARD P. GERON

5.         MAJ CORNELIUS L. GRAY

6.         LT COL ROBERT T. SCHNEIDENBACH

 

                                                           

 

INDUCTED 1999

 

1.         CMSGT JAMES E. ANO

2.         CAPT GLENN E. FRICK

3.         TSGT JOHN J. HYLAND

4.         CAPT JOHN R. PATTEE

5.         LT COL WILLIAM W. ROSS

6.         CMSGT RICHARD “TACO” SANCHEZ


 

7.         CMSGT JOHN D. SELFRIDGE

8.         CMSGT MICHAEL O. STEINBECK

 

 

 

 

 


 

INDUCTED 2000

 

1.         MAJ PETER R. BOWMAN

2.         MAJ ALFRED A. BRASHEAR

3.         MSGT GEORGE C. CELIS

4.         COL GEORGE E. "BUD" DAY

5.         LTCOL WILLIAM G. HARDEN

6.         MSGT ROGER L. KLAIR

7.         CAPT DON ROBERT LEWIS

8.         SMSGT FRANCIS J. MATTHEWS

9.         LTCOL HOWARD PIERSON

10.       SMSGT JAMES J. STANFORD

11.       SMSGT FRED E. SANDERS                     

 

 

 

INDUCTED 2001

 

1.         LTGEN MAXWELL C. BAILEY

2.         COL THOMAS P. BRADLEY

3.         COL MICHAEL E. HAAS

4.         LTCOL WILLIAM P. HEATH

5.         COL ELLWOOD E. JOHNSON

6.         LTCOL ROBERT B. MADDEN

7.         CMSGT WILLIAM B. WALTER

 

INDUCTED 2002

 

1.         BGEN ROBERT J. CARDENAS

2.         COL    MILTON FUERST

3.         LTGEN WILLIAM H. GINN, JR

4.         MSGT GEORGE D. McNAMARA

5.         LTCOL ROBERT W. MOORE

6.         CMSGT MICHAEL C. REYNOLDS         

 

 

INDUCTED 2003


 

1.         LTCOL WILLIAM E. BROWN

2.         COL ROBERT A. DOWNS

3.         COL JOHN GARGUS

4.         LTCOL DONALD R. MOODY

 

 

INDUCTED 2004

 

1.         COLONEL ROLAND McCOSKRIE

2.         MAJOR PLASTER

3.         CMSGT WAYNE NORRAD

 

 

 

INDUCTED 2005

 

1.         MAJOR JOE HOLDEN

2.         SMSGT KELLERMAN

 

 

Current Abbreviated Guidance:

 

Eligibility Criteria:

1.      Nominees must meet eligibility criteria for membership in the ACA.

2.      Nominees must have served at least one year in an AF Air Commando, USAAF or USAF Special Operations Unit.

3.      No nominees shall be selected based on a single act of bravery or heroics, except in the case of Medal of Honor awardees.

4.      Nominees shall have served honorably on active duty and in civilian life.

5.      JUSTIFICATION OF THE NOMINEE MUST CLEARLY REFLECT SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE BETTERMENT OF AIR COMMANDO OR AF SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES.

 

Nomination Procedure and Guidance

 

1.      Anyone may nominate any air commando who meets the criteria.

2.      Nomination package:

  1. Verifiable and detailed information about the nominee.
  2. DD-214 or equivalent documentation to verify service, awards, and decorations, etc.
  3. One paragraph citation to be used in the induction ceremony.
  4. Photo, if available
  5. Two references

3.      Nomination packages will be sent to ACA HOF Committee, PO Box 7, Mary Esther, FL 32569 to arrive no later than 31 July of each year.

 

We want to keep the HOF alive and active.  Therefore, we need folks to submit nominations.   I realize that it takes some initiative to prepare a nomination package.  The package does not have to be in perfect format.  The most important element is to highlight the significant contributions to the betterment of special operations.  If you do not have a computer, handwritten nominations are accepted. I repeat it is accomplishments that are important.  Many of us realize there are many enlisted folks in all specialties that have done significant things but have not been recognized with this prestigious award.  Let’s do it!

Because of the current interest by members, we will have a special meeting to review the HOF procedures and to seek ideas on obtaining nominations and to review the criteria.  Any one with ideas or comments should contact the ACA office – we will listen.

 

Felix “Sam” Sambogna

Your President