30 September 1966 – LtCol Walter “Mel” Fowler’s F-100 #553502 is hit in the engine by gunfire over SVN. He came close to capture or death by closely advancing Viet Cong before his wingman suppressed the advancing VC and he was picked up from the rice paddy by an Army Helo. Fowler was serving with
Michael G. Major
Mike Major “…was an honor graduate from the US Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO in June 1962, and commissioned in the Regular AF and competitively selected to become a fighter pilot. In his 23+ years of service, he flew 3600 hours in the F-100, F-104, F-4, and F-16.
He served 2 combat tours in Vietnam and amassed 200+ combat missions earning a Distinguished Flying Cross for Valor, and 14 Air Medals. Additionally, he served 2 tours in South Korea and Europe respectively among numerous other stateside billets. He commanded at the squadron and wing levels, and was loved and respected by all he served with.
He retired in 1985 as a full Colonel and hired as a Program Manager at Northrop-Grumman Aerospace Company in Los Angeles, CA, where he led numerous large scale international military aircraft refurbishment and development programs. Upon his second retirement in 2000, he moved to Reno, NV where he enjoyed golf, snow skiing, fishing and a large group of friends. As a volunteer with the Reno Air Races for 15 years, he rose through the ranks becoming the Air Race President and also CEO for two years until he retired in 2015.”