Lawrence E. Bustle, Jr
Larry Bustle is a native of Manatee County and is a graduate of Manatee County High School. He is married to the former Edie Stevenson and they have four grown children and two grandchildren.
Larry attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and, after graduation, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force. He received his pilot wings in 1958 at Webb AFB, TX, and enjoyed a distinguished career that included service as a fighter pilot and test pilot with over 3300 flying hours.
Mr. Bustle flew 130 combat missions in the F-4D Phantom II aircraft during the Vietnam War. For his service in Vietnam, he was awarded the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, nine Air Medals and the Purple Heart, among others. In 1967 he was awarded a Master of Science Degree in Astronautical Engineering from the US Air Force Institute of Technology, and in 1970 he graduated from the US Air Force Test Pilot School.
At Eglin AFB, FL he flew test missions on the Modular Guided Glide Bomb (MGGB) and numerous ECM pods and Air-to-Air Infrared Sensors. Later, he served in senior command positions in the Air Force and retired from the Air Force as a Colonel in 1984.
Mr. Bustle previously served seven years as the Mayor of Palmetto. On August 26, 2008, he was elected to the Manatee County Commission and on November 21, 2016, he retired after serving 8 years as Manatee County Commissioner representing District 1.
Commissioner Bustle served two years as Chairman of the Manatee County Commission. He previously served three consecutive years as Chairman of the Manatee County Port Authority. He is a past chairman of the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council Organization. Larry served three years as chairman of the Manatee County Public Safety Coordinating Council. Previously he served on the American Patriotism Celebration Task Force and the Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Council Advisory Board. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of the South Florida Museum and two terms as chair of the Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization; he’s a former chairman of the Manatee Veterans Council.
He is also a past member of the Community Coalition on Homelessness and the Local School Readiness Coalition. Commissioner Bustle is a graduate of Leadership Florida Class XXIV.
- 6/1953-6/1957 US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD-commissioned in USAF at graduation
- 8/1957-2/1958 Primary Pilot Training Class 59B, Bartow AB, FL (T-34A, T-28A)
- 3/1958-9/1958 Basic Pilot Training, Webb AFB, TX (T-33)
- 9/1958-3/1959 RTU, Luke AFB, AZ (F-100 )
- 4/1959-7/1959 Advanced Training, Nellis AFB, NV (F-100)
- 8/1959 Survival Training, Stead AFB, NV
- 9/1959-1/1960 493rd Tactical Fighter Squadron/48th Tactical Fighter Wing, Chaumont AB, France (F-100)
- 1/1960-5/1963 493rd Tactical Fighter Squadron/48th Tactical Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath AB, UK (F-100)
- 6/1963-5/1965 Command Post, FWS Student, F-100 Stan Eval, Nellis AFB, NV
- 6/1965-6/1967 MS Astronautical Engineering, AFIT WPAFB, OH
- 7/1967-1/1968 RTU, George AFB, CA (F-4)
- 2/1968-9/1968 Tactics Officer, Stormy, 480th Tactical Fighter Squadron/366th Tactical Fighter Wing, F-4 FAC, Danang AB, Vietnam (F-4)
- 9/1968-3/1969 Recovering from flailing injuries from ejection after shootdown by 37mm
- 4/1969-5/1970 Edward AFB, CA USAF Test Pilot School Student Class 69B (F-106, B-25, B-57, T-33, F-104, NF-104, T-38, B-52, Schweitzer Glider)
- 6/1970-6/1973 Eglin AFB, FL Munitions Test Pilot (T-33, F-100, F-4D, T-38)
- 6/1973-6/1978 HQ USAF/Pentagon Fighter Requirements
- 6/1978-6/1979 Ft. McNair, DC Industrial College of the Armed Forces
- 6/1979-6/1981 Commander, Det. 181, TUSLOG (Base Commander), Izmir AB, Turkey
- 7/1981-7/1982 401st TFW Vice Commander, Torrejon AB, Spain (F-4D)
- 7/1982-6/1984 HQ USAF/Pentagon/Director of Operational Support
- 6/30/1984 Retired USAF
Awards & Decorations
Legion of Merit
Air Medal (9)
Distinguished Flying Cross
Military & Civilian Education
- 1963-1957 U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD
- Air Force Institute of Technology
- 1965-1967 MS/Astronautical Engineering, AFIT
- Test Pilot School
- DC Industrial College of the Armed Forces