Walter J. “Bud” Bacon


 

Preferred Name: Bud

Nickname/Call Sign: Misty 57

Date of Birth: September 23, 1928 (June 2, 2008)

Highest Military Grade Held: Brigadier General

Hometown: Knoxville, TN

Biography

 I grew up here in Knoxville, attended The University of Tennessee went to West Point, flew fighters in Korea and Vietnam.

After Korea, I flew a lot and made many friends at Moody AFB in Valdosta, GA; got an MA in English at The University of Southern California; and taught an trained Air Force Academy cadets. Back in operations after Air Command and Staff College, I flew F-100’s out of Lakenheath, England for three years, with a lot of deployments to North Africa, Italy and Turkey. In Vietnam, I commanded a detachment (Misty) of volunteer pilots who flew into North Vietnam seeking and spotting targets for attack fighters. I was a 7th Air Force Headquarters near Saigon the last half of my Southeast Asia tour.

After the Pentagon (in the Under Secretary of the Air Force’s office) and National War College (one year as a student, one a faculty member), I was vice commander at Luke AFB, Arizona. Then I commanded the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing (F-4s) near Homestead, Florida. It was the highlight of my career. After three years at Tactical Air Command headquarters in Hampton, Virginia, I concluded military service in Key West in a Caribbean contingency planning group. There I stood on the dock and welcomed thousands of Mariel boatlifters. It was time to retire.

My civilian jobs were interesting, but not earth-shakers. I even studied journalism, hoping to learn how the journalistic mentality is developed. My busiest and briefest job was superintendent of Castle Heights Military Academy in Lebanon Tennessee. Both daughters graduated from the University of Tennessee, and I was able to be with my mother her last ten years. The decision to come home after three and a half decades proved to be a good one. My wife Bette died suddenly in 1992. She was a loving mother of four and a vital part of my life for 33 years.

At a West Pointer’s birthday party, I met an alluring widow named Joyce Smith. I wooed her fervently, and in 1994 we were married.

Units Assigned

  • 1951 Primary Flight Training, Bartow Air Force Base, FL/Bryan Air Force Base, TX,
  • 8/1952-12/1952 Gunnery School, Pinecastle AFB, FL
  • 12/1952 69th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, Taegu AB, South Korea (81 combat Missions – F-84G)
  • 1953 IP, Moody Air Force Base, GA
  • 6/1958 Faculty/Commanding Officer, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO
  • 1965 494th Tactical Fighter Squadron/48th Tactical Fighter Wing, Royal Air Force Station, Lakenheath, England
  • 5/1968-12/1968 Misty 57, Misty Strike Control and Reconnaissance Detachmen, Tuy Hoa AB/Phu Cat AB, Vietnam
  • 12/1968-5/1969 Chief, Special Actions Branch of the Operations Division, Seventh Air Force, Tan Son Nhut AB, Saigon.5-1969-8/1970, General Bacon was deputy executive assistant to the undersecretary of the Air Force, Dr. John L. McLucas.
  • 8/1970-6/1971 National War College, joined faculty
  • 7/1972-3/1975 58th Tactical Fighter Training Wing at Luke AFB, AZ
  • 3/1975-6/1976 31st Tactical Fighter Wing, Homestead Air Force Base, FL7/1976-10/1979  Assistant deputy chief of staff, plans/Inspector General/Deputy chief of staff for logistics/Chief of staff, Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, VA
  • 10/1979-8/1980 Deputy commander, Caribbean Contingency Joint Task Force in Key West, FL
  • 8/1/1980 Retired USAF

Awards & Decorations

 Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster)
 Distinguished Flying Cross (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters)
 Bronze Star Medal
 Meritorious Service Medal
 Air Medal (with 11 Oak Leaf Clusters)
 Air Force Commendation Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster)

Flight Info

F-84  G
F-100 D

Military Education

  • 1947 BS, US Military Academy at West Point
  • 1964 Command and Staff College
  • 1971 National War College

Civilian Education

1957 MA/English, University of Southern California

Biography

Biography

 I grew up here in Knoxville, attended The University of Tennessee went to West Point, flew fighters in Korea and Vietnam.

After Korea, I flew a lot and made many friends at Moody AFB in Valdosta, GA; got an MA in English at The University of Southern California; and taught an trained Air Force Academy cadets. Back in operations after Air Command and Staff College, I flew F-100’s out of Lakenheath, England for three years, with a lot of deployments to North Africa, Italy and Turkey. In Vietnam, I commanded a detachment (Misty) of volunteer pilots who flew into North Vietnam seeking and spotting targets for attack fighters. I was a 7th Air Force Headquarters near Saigon the last half of my Southeast Asia tour.

After the Pentagon (in the Under Secretary of the Air Force’s office) and National War College (one year as a student, one a faculty member), I was vice commander at Luke AFB, Arizona. Then I commanded the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing (F-4s) near Homestead, Florida. It was the highlight of my career. After three years at Tactical Air Command headquarters in Hampton, Virginia, I concluded military service in Key West in a Caribbean contingency planning group. There I stood on the dock and welcomed thousands of Mariel boatlifters. It was time to retire.

My civilian jobs were interesting, but not earth-shakers. I even studied journalism, hoping to learn how the journalistic mentality is developed. My busiest and briefest job was superintendent of Castle Heights Military Academy in Lebanon Tennessee. Both daughters graduated from the University of Tennessee, and I was able to be with my mother her last ten years. The decision to come home after three and a half decades proved to be a good one. My wife Bette died suddenly in 1992. She was a loving mother of four and a vital part of my life for 33 years.

At a West Pointer’s birthday party, I met an alluring widow named Joyce Smith. I wooed her fervently, and in 1994 we were married.

Units - Education - Awards - Flight Info

Units Assigned

  • 1951 Primary Flight Training, Bartow Air Force Base, FL/Bryan Air Force Base, TX,
  • 8/1952-12/1952 Gunnery School, Pinecastle AFB, FL
  • 12/1952 69th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, Taegu AB, South Korea (81 combat Missions – F-84G)
  • 1953 IP, Moody Air Force Base, GA
  • 6/1958 Faculty/Commanding Officer, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO
  • 1965 494th Tactical Fighter Squadron/48th Tactical Fighter Wing, Royal Air Force Station, Lakenheath, England
  • 5/1968-12/1968 Misty 57, Misty Strike Control and Reconnaissance Detachmen, Tuy Hoa AB/Phu Cat AB, Vietnam
  • 12/1968-5/1969 Chief, Special Actions Branch of the Operations Division, Seventh Air Force, Tan Son Nhut AB, Saigon.5-1969-8/1970, General Bacon was deputy executive assistant to the undersecretary of the Air Force, Dr. John L. McLucas.
  • 8/1970-6/1971 National War College, joined faculty
  • 7/1972-3/1975 58th Tactical Fighter Training Wing at Luke AFB, AZ
  • 3/1975-6/1976 31st Tactical Fighter Wing, Homestead Air Force Base, FL7/1976-10/1979  Assistant deputy chief of staff, plans/Inspector General/Deputy chief of staff for logistics/Chief of staff, Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, VA
  • 10/1979-8/1980 Deputy commander, Caribbean Contingency Joint Task Force in Key West, FL
  • 8/1/1980 Retired USAF

Awards & Decorations

 Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster)
 Distinguished Flying Cross (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters)
 Bronze Star Medal
 Meritorious Service Medal
 Air Medal (with 11 Oak Leaf Clusters)
 Air Force Commendation Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster)

Flight Info

F-84  G
F-100 D

Military Education

  • 1947 BS, US Military Academy at West Point
  • 1964 Command and Staff College
  • 1971 National War College

Civilian Education

1957 MA/English, University of Southern California

Photos