James P. Burke
I began my AF career in 1964 with UPT Class 66A. After being awarded the only F-100 assigned to my class, I attended CCTS at Luke AFB. Four other classmates and I went directly to Vietnam as the first class to be sent to Vietnam with only training time and no operational experience.
After six months flying the Hun with the 510 TFS, the junior lieutenants were given FAC assignments in the O-1. I was upset at being taken out of the F-100, but I must say that my FAC experience was the most rewarding of all my flying career.
I spent the next three years flying and partying in England, Wheelus, Aviano, and Cigli. It was hard work with 50% of the time deployed for nuke alert or supporting various exercises, but most everyone considered it a great assignment.
Separation from active duty and airline flying came next. Also, the air national guard was nice enough to let me fly their F-100’s for the next 10 years.
I was lucky enough to fly the Hun for 15 years with only two breaks of six months, accumulating over 2000 hours. Currently, I am flying a Yak 52TW in air shows and formations with the Redstar Pilots Association.
- UPT, Moody AFB, GA (T-37, T-38)
- CCT, Luke AFB, AZ (F-100)
- 1966 510th TFS, Bien Hoa AB, Vietnam (F-100)
- 1967 19 TASS, Bien Hoa AB, Vietnam (O-1 E/F/G)
- 21 TASS, Bien Hoa AB, Vietnam (O-1 E/F/G)
- 1967-1970 494 TFS, RAFB Lakenheath, England (F-100)
- 1971-1974 166 TFS, Ohio ANG (F-100)
- 1974-1980 128 TFS, Georgia ANG (F-100)
Awards & Decorations
Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Medal with 14 Oak Leaf Clusters
Commanders Trophy, Moody AFB, GA, Class 66A
Outstanding Student, Luke AFB, AZ, Class 66-E-2
Top Gun, 494th TFS, Lakenheath RAFB, England
Top Gun, 128th TFS, Dobbins AFB, GA
F-100 C/D/F -2,000 hours
Military & Civilian Education
- Masters Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology