26 June 1969 – Capt John Casper was serving with the 413th TFS out of Phan Rang AB, Vietnam. On a mission to detect VietCong...Read More
Neill Richards Gruver
I flew the F-100 first in the Nellis AFB checkout program, then as Bomb Commander in the 48th at Chaumont and Lakenheath AFB. I was also assigned to fly numerous Functional Check Flights as an additional duty, Squadron Maintenance Officer. These flights were particularly interesting when assigned at Lakenheath. We would frequently have to wait for minimums and then top out over 30,000 feet to complete the Check Flight. I did not fly the F-100 in combat but flew the O-2A and OV-10 in Viet Nam.
From June 1981-January 1996 I held various banking positions retiring as Senior VP, Bank of America. My wife Donna Mae who I married on August 1st in 1953, passed away March 27, 2012, and my daughter Cynthia Ann, born in Chaumont, France, passed away March 1, 2017.
On April 2, 2016, I married Margo L (Ball) Gruver and my family increased by two stepchildren and two step-grandchildren. I now have three children, seven grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
Since 1996 and continuing today I volunteer for Church and Civic Organizations, travel & enjoy my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I also continue to enjoy maintaining contact with all of the proud folks with whom I have served our Country.
- 11/1955-1/ 1956 Lackland AFB, Officer Ingress.
- 1956-1957 UPT, Marana, AZ/Laredo TX (T-34, T-28, T-33)
- 1957 Williams Field/Nellis AFB (F-86, F-100)
- 1958-1959 48th Fighter Bomber Wing, Chaumont AFB, France (F-100D/F)
- 1960-1961 48th Tactical Fighter Wing, Lakenheath AB, UK (F-100D/F)
- 1961 Atlas-E Missile crew training, Shepperd AFB, TX
- 1961-1965 Missile Crew & Instructor crew, FE Warren AFB, WY
- 1965-1967 917th ARS KC-135 Crew member, Dyess AFB, TX
- 10/1966-12/1966 Air Refueling missions SE Asia (KC-135)
- 6/1967- 10/1967 F-100 refresher Luke AFB, AZ/Training Hurlburt Field, FL (O-1)
- 11/1967-5/1968 FAC Missions Cam Tho, Da Nang VN & Ubon, Thailand (O-2A)
- 5/1968-3/1969 Hurlburt Field, FL, Bien Hoa AB & Phan Rang AB, Vietnam VN (Combat Bronco Team and OV-10 in country check out project) (OV-10)
- 1969-1970 Hurlburt Field, FL (OV-10 IP)
- 5/1970-6/1973 HQ TAC DOCCT (FAC Training)
- 7/1973-8/1974 US Army War College, Carlisle, PA
- 9/1974-7/1976 21st TASS, Commander, Shaw AFB, SC
- 8/1976-6/1978 HQ TAC DOCT (OPR FAC & Weapons Controllers)
- 7/1978-6/1981 602 TACAIR Control Wing, Vice Wing Commander, Bergstrom AFB, TX
- 6/30/1981 Retired from USAF
Awards & Decorations
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Medal with 15 Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Combat Readiness Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
Air Force Longevity Service Award
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
Military & Civilian Education
- Army War College
- BA/Geology, University of Iowa
- MS, Shippensburg University, PA