Bernard M. Conway
Bernie Conway was born on a dairy farm near Rochester, MN on June 9, 1935. He was number 5 of 9 kids.
He volunteered for the draft right after high school and spent two years in the Army where he was assigned to the 11th Airborne and jumped out of 12 perfectly good airplanes!
Bernie tried out the University of Minnesota where his only accomplishment was to meet his future wife, Judy. While at the University, he heard about the Aviation Cadet program, joined up, and went through flight training at Bainbridge, GA, and Greenville, MS. He married Judy the day after graduation and set off for training at Luke and Nellis. He was then assigned to the 510th Squadron at Clark AB in the Philippines for a 3-year assignment.
The squadron was transferred to England AFB, LA where we had a short stay and then transferred to Bien Hoa, RVN.
After Vietnam, the next stop was the 77th TFS in Wethersfield, England. Conway had numerous trips to Aviano and Wheelus plus a trip back to Nellis for Fighter Weapons School where he earned an “Outstanding Pilot in the Flying Phase.”
His next stop was back to Luke for an A-7 checkout and a subsequent transfer of the unit to Davis Monthan AFB in Tucson. He was there for a couple of years and it was time to go remote again. This time he was off to Korat AB, Thailand to continue flying A-7s. He was then assigned to a staff tour at PACAF headquarters at Hickam AB. While there he flew the L-20 and finished his college education at Chaminade University in Honolulu.
Bernie’s, final assignment was back to Davis Monthan where he assumed command of the 357 TFTS and always said it was the BEST assignment of his career. He finished his tour as Squadron Commander and the same day he retired from his Air Force career after 20 very enjoyable years.
After retirement from the USAF Bernie took a job with Gates Learjet in Wichita as a Flight Test Pilot. He was hired away from there by the owner of Discount Tire Company. It was a big decision to choose between Scottsdale and Wichita! He flew for Discount for the next nine years.
He finished his working days with Motorola. He officially retired in 1997 and is enjoying life In Scottsdale, Arizona. He and Judy treasure time shared with daughter, son-in-law, two grandsons, and one Great-Granddaughter!
Bernie Conway flew airplanes for 30 years and 10 of those years were in the F-100. He had 6575 flying hours, 3884 take-offs, and 3884 landings!
- 1956-1959 11th Airborne (Army)
- 510th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Clark AB, Philippines/England AFB, LA/Bien Hoa, RVN
- 77th Tactical Fighter Squadron, RAF Wethersfield, England/David Monthan AFB, AZ/Korat AB, Thailand (A-7)
- 4515th Combat Crew Training Squadron, Davis Monthan AFB, AZ (A-7)
- 1997 Retired USAF
Awards & Decorations
Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Medal with 8 Oak Leaf Clusters
Flight Hours: 6575 flying hours, 3884 take-offs, and 3884 landings!
Military & Civilian Education
- 1956 Lourdes High, Rochester
- 1975 BA, Chaminade College of Honolulu