David T. Arendts
I grew up in Manly, Iowa and attended Iowa State University graduating in 1962. I flew the F-100 at RAF Woodbridge, England with the 79th Tactical Fighter Squadron and Phu Cat Vietnam in the 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron.
After Viet Nam, I had several short-term employment experiences. The first was as a ditch digger in Rockport, Texas, then sitting side-saddle on a Boeing 727 as a flight engineer for what was then Northwest Airlines. During one of Northwest’s many strikes, I continued my career in mass transportation becoming a city bus driver in Minneapolis, MN. After several months of driving a bus in Minneapolis during the winter, I sought a career change and joined the Michigan Air National Guard.
While with the Michigan Air National Guard I flew the T-33, F/RF-101, F-106, F-4C, A-7D, and the F-16. I moved through the ranks starting as an instructor pilot in the 191st Fighter-Interceptor Group in 1970, I was appointed Deputy Commander for Operations in 1975 and I became the Group Commander in 1981. I was appointed as the Base Commander of Selfridge ANG Base in February 1986. (Not sure what I did wrong?) I assumed command of the 127th Tactical Fighter Wing in 1988. (I evidently had redeemed myself somehow?)
After I retired from the Michigan Air National Guard I took a position with Venture Industries as Vice President for Lean Manufacturing. This multi-billion dollar company provided plastic exterior and interior parts to all major automotive manufacturers. Venture and its European subsidiary had manufacturing and paint operations on five continents. The cool part of this job was the ability to travel the world with my wife Barbara and enjoy many different countries while being hosted by the various plant managers within each country. I retired from Venture Industries in 2003. (So all the manual labor jobs paid off in the long run!)
Married to the former Barbara Lee Bowers of Del Rio, Texas. We have two grown children, one of each, and five grandchildren.
Promoted to Brigadier General in June 1988.
- 1/1988-4/1993 Commander, 127th Fighter Wing, Selfridge ANG Base, MI
- 1962 79th Tactical Fighter Squadron, RAF Woodbridge, (F-100)
- 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Phu Cat AB, Vietnam (F-100)
- 1970-1985 191st Fighter-Interceptor Group, IP/Deputy Commander of Operations/ Group Commander, Michigan ANG (F-4D)
- 1986 Base Commander, Selfridge ANG Base
- 1988 127th Tactical Fighter Wing, Commander (F-16)
Awards & Decorations
Distinguished Flying Cross with 2 Oak Clusters
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal with 9 Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster
Distinguished Presidential Unit Citation
Outstanding Unit Award with Oak Leaf Cluster
National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight Hours: 4000+
Military & Civilian Education
- 1962 Iowa State University