Stewart R. Byrne
Major General Stewart R. Byrne grew up in Louisville, KY working in the family floral shop. His flying career started as a cadet in the University of Louisville ROTC and was commissioned as a 2dLt.
In 1962 he began pilot training. After graduation, he was an IP in the T-33 and T-38 and went on to fly the F-100 Super Sabre. With only 50 hours in the Hun, he headed to Bien Hoa Air Base in Vietnam and flew 294 combat missions from 4/1967-4/1968.
An incident with a bomb exploding as it was released from the aircraft caused over 300 holes and a raging fire, yet Stew was able to safely land his F-100.
In December 1967 President Lyndon Johnson awarded then Capt. Byrne a Silver Star for a mission he flew earlier in the year. The President’s visit was a surprise to all.
Stew was also awarded 2 Distinguished Flying Crosses and 15 Air Medals for his aggressive pursuit of the enemy especially when troops were under fire.
After Vietnam, Byrne served at Lakenheath in England then headed back to the States where he married Megan. He returned to England and then served in Germany, Italy, Turkey, Spain, and Libya. At one point his squadron sat nuclear alert with (Capt) Byrne as the Squadron Weapons Officer.
After 9 years in the active Air Force, Stewart returned to Louisville to fly the RF-101 Voodoo with the Kentucky National Guard.
He later became commander of the 150th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron flying the RF-4C Phantom II.
General Byrne joined the Kentucky Air National Guard in 1971, where he held the positions of squadron commander, and wing deputy commander for operations. He returned to active duty in 1982 as the Air National Guard advisor to the commander, Ninth Air Force, and later served as the advisor to the commander, Tactical Air Command.
In July 1990 he returned to the Kentucky Air National Guard serving as vice wing commander and commander of the 123d Airlift Wing.
In May 1995 he assumed his present position as ANG assistant to the commander, Pacific Air Forces. He is a command pilot with more than 5,600 flying hours and 294 combat missions.
Sources: Video (see video tab, and http://www.nationalguard.mil/portals/31/Features/ngbgomo/bio/4/459.html)
- 4/1962-5/1963, Undergraduate pilot training, Moody AFB, GA
- 5/ 1963-11/1966 Instructor pilot, Laughlin AFB, TX (T-33, T-38)
- 11/1966-4/1967 F-100 combat crew training, Cannon AFB, NM (F-100)
- 4/ 1967-5/1968 510th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Bien Hoa AB, Vietnam (F-100)
- 5/ 1968-5/1970 79th Tactical Fighter Squadron, assistant flight commander, RAF Woodbridge, England (F-100)
- 5/ 19705/197181st Tactical Fighter Wing, wing emergency actions officer, RAF Bentwaters, England
- 5/1971-10/1971 inactive status
- 10/1971-5/1973 165th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, RF-101 tactical reconnaissance pilot/assistant flight leader/flight leader, Kentucky Air National Guard, Louisville, KY (RF-101)
- 5/1973-2/1977 123rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, Chief of standardization/evaluation, Kentucky ANG, Louisville, KY (RF-101, RF-4)
- 2/1977-5/1977 123rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, Chief of the command post, Kentucky ANG, Louisville, KY
- 5/1977-7/1978 123rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, Deputy director of operations, Kentucky Air National Guard, Louisville, KY
- 7/1978-12/1979 165th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Commander, Kentucky ANG, Louisville, KY
- 12/1979-2/1982 123rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, Deputy commander for operations, Kentucky ANG, Louisville, KY
- 2/1982-2/1986 9th Air Force, Air National Guard advisor to the commander, Shaw AFB, SC
- 2/1986-7/1986 123rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, Vice wing commander, Kentucky Air National Guard, Louisville, KY
- 7/1986-7/1990 Tactical Air Command, Air National Guard advisor to the commander, Langley AFB, VA
- 7/1990-8/1991 123rd Tactical Airlift Wing, Vice wing commander, Kentucky ANG, Louisville, KY
- 8/1991-4/1992 Headquarters Kentucky Air National Guard, Chief of staff, Louisville, KY
- 4/1992-5/1995 123rd Airlift Wing, Commander, Kentucky ANG, Louisville, KY
- 5/1995 – Present, Air National Guard assistant to the commander, Pacific Air Forces, Hickam AFB, HI
Awards & Decorations
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Medal with 14 Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal
Armed Forces Reserve Medal
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight hours: More than 5,600
Military & Civilian Education
- 1966 Squadron Officers School
- 1975 Air Command and Staff College
- 1977 Industrial College of the Armed Forces
- 1962 BS/Commerce, University of Louisville, KY