Jere Wallace


 

Preferred Name: Jere

Nickname/Call Sign: Waldo

Date of Birth: July 21, 1941

Highest Military Grade Held: Colonel, O6

Hometown: Phoenix, AZ

Biography

HUN DAYS

After a four-month check-out in the F-100, some leave and jungle survival school at Clark AB, I was greeted at Phan Rang AB, RVN the last week of February 1967 by friendly but probably skeptical future 612th squadron mates.  Of the 30 or so in the class at Luke, all but five had orders to Hurlburt for O-1 FAC check-out.  Of the five of us to make it directly to Clark, four were assigned 90-day TDYs to Clark or Misawa AB.  I think I was the first of the “transition from other commands” pukes (more on this later) to arrive in country with a whopping 75 hours in the Hun.  My first mission March 1 in the pit was followed by a couple front seat F rides with an IP and then “cleared in hot” in the D model. Most of my missions were within about 150 miles of the base with a “no-fly” zone over the beautiful resort of Da Lat (near Phan Rang).  In May the squadron prepared to move further north to the newly constructed Phu Cat AB near Qui Nhon.

The missions there were more of the same tree busters, but we did get some additional “troops in contact” tasking.  My best close air support memory was delivering napalm and Mk82HDs under a 1000 foot ceiling. We had to pop above the thin overcast after each pass and re-enter a hole in the clouds several miles away and then reacquire the target.  I’ve told many others that one of my greatest rewards was getting our troops out of trouble and my greatest fear was hurting one of them in the process.

Aside from frequently being shot at and occasionally hit, one of the most demanding missions was at night with napalm and high-drag Mk82s in mountainous terrain with flares for illumination.  Then there was “hanging on the wing” in thunderstorms for sky-spot (radar vectored) runs with slick 750s. Later 7th AF headquarters advised that the ballistics in storms were not reliable and we should not release.

The Misty Fast FAC program had started after Phu Cat opened in June.  It was manned by volunteers from all of the in-country F-100 bases. My 612th ops officer, PJ White, became the second generation commander in September and he took me with him as Misty23 and the first LT in the program.  Our normal schedule was two on one off and, since I was based at Phu Cat, I would go back to the 612th on my “days off” to fly normal missions.  My first Misty ride was 8 Sep. On Sep 11, in the pit on the third mission with Bob Blocker, we attacked an SA-2 SAM transporter with a missile just north of the DMZ.  Nine strike flights later and a lot of NVA AAA expended, missile was amort.

It was going to be an exciting four-month assignment.  Sadly, I lost my only strike aircraft in November, an F-4 in Route Pack 1 on a “quiet” strike about 20 miles from the coast.  We were able to locate the back seat pilot (GIB) in his chute at about 1200 feet above the beach and later recover him but the AC went in the water with the jet.  In late fall the crummy weather forced the interdiction effort onto the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos. I had the honor to give Don Shepperd and Brian Williams their first rides north.  My final Misty mission #51 was New Year’s Day 1968.

I was back to the “in-country routine”, R&R to Sidney, Australia mid-January and ready to go home in early February, but events disrupted that schedule.  First, there was the siege at Khe Sanh where I remember flights being stacked 6-8 deep to support the Marines. Next was North Korea’s capture of the Navy’s USS Pueblo which diverted replacement assets to that theater and then TET 68.  

Suddenly short of pilots, I made a deal with the Wing DO to stay beyond my DEROS for another 7-10 days if put on alert every day.  One of the post-TET missions was bombing and strafing beautiful downtown Da Lat. It is a sad memory.

I wanted to go to Europe and was told that losing command had priority but I could stay in the Hun by accepting another remote tour to Wheelus AB in Libya.  I made a great decision, met hordes of jocks from Europe and flew more gunnery missions than any of them, and with virtually unrestricted flying. Of the 500 day assignment, 100 were TDY or on leave.  Personnel never called me again for another short tour.

I left Libya about three weeks before the Labor Day 69 coup.  Ferried a C model to Sacramento and returned to the new Torrejon AB, Spain assignment, and a recently failed ORI.  In the next four months at TJ, we passed the do-over ORI and I made a one-month deployment to Incirlik AB, Turkey just before the F-4 transition.  After 3+ years I finished with 1118 hours, half in the C model.

BEFORE THE HUN

I graduated from pilot training in class 65XG at Laughlin AFB, an experimental 42-week program (versus the normal 55-week course) with the same academics but less flying time.  I finished #9 in my class of 33. There were four F-100 assignments but they did not get down that far. I had grown up as a SAC dependent and did not want to spend my days on alert with minimal flying.  The F-4 was very new to the Air Force with the GIB career progression an unknown. I had no interest in four years in the back seat. I was not sure whether to make the Air Force a career, the airlines were a consideration so I elected to go to MATS (later MAC) to accumulate the most flying time.  I was very fortunate to be assigned to the first C-141 squadron at Travis AFB and learned a lot in a short time. But check-out after initial training was slow. I was so bored I volunteered to attend the Army paratrooper training at Ft Benning, GA in July. Fortunately, the operations officer nixed that foolish idea.  Upgrades were frustratingly slow and transporting troops and supplies into Viet Nam and bringing out coffins and litters did not seem to be enough, there was more to be done. I volunteered for F-100s and departed California after 18 months with 645 transport hours and a lot less enthusiasm about airline type flying.

AFTER THE HUN

I put in 6+ years in F-4Es at Torrejon and Nellis, finishing with 1330 hours.  I flew the F-15 on the ACEVAL/AIMAVL JTF and OT&E missions at Nellis until fall of 78 and was off to Eglin AFB to transition the 33rd TFW to F-15s.  I meant to stay there longer but a high level “misunderstanding” lead me to Kadena AB, Japan the fall of 1981 until 1984 as the 67th TFS DO/CC.  I had just over 8 years in the Eagle with 1335 hours.  I attended NWC Class of 1985 and then to the Pentagon until retirement Sep 87.

I want to express my utmost gratitude to the non-pilot officers, NCOs and airmen contributions in making all my missions possible and for the Hun experience keeping me on active duty.  Made lifelong friends and, having survived some demanding flying, would not trade my Air Force career for anything.

AFTER THE AIR FORCE

Twenty years after discarding the idea, I joined American Airlines until mandatory retirement in 2001.  Flew the B727, MD 80, B757, and B767 and was based at DCA, JFK, ORD, and BOS. I had fun and saw a lot of the world but glad I didn’t do it for 30 years.  Since then I’ve been busy using the travel benefits to visit those friends and attend many great reunions.

Units Assigned

  • 4/1964-2/1965 UPT, Laughlin AFB, TX (T-37, T-33)
  • 3/1965-8/1966 44 ATS, Travis AFB, CA  (C-141)
  • 9/1966-1/1967 CCTS Luke AFB, AZ (F-100)
  • 2/1967-2/1968 612th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Phan Rang/Phu Cat AB RVN/TDY Det 1, 416 TFS (F-100)
  • 9/1967-1/1968 as Misty 23
  • 3/1968-8/1969 7272 FTW, Wheelus AB, Libya (F-100)
  • 9/1969-2/1973 613 Tactical Fighter Squadron, Torrejon AB, Spain (F-100, F-4)
  • 3/1973-5/1976 414 FWS, Nellis AFB, NV (F-4)
  • 5/1976-11/1978 ACEVAL/AIMVAL JTF/422 FWS, Nellis AFB, NV (F-15)
  • 12/1978-10/1981 58/59/60 Tactical Fighter Squadron, Eglin AFB, FL (F-15)
  • 11/1981-6/1984 44/67 Tactical Fighter Squadron, Kadena AB, Japan (F-15)
  • 8/1984-6/1985 National War College Ft McNair, Washington, DC
  • 7/1985-9/1987 USAF Air Staff, Pentagon
  • 10/1987-7/2001 American Airlines, Washington DC, New York, Chicago, Boston (B727/MD80/B757/B767)

Awards & Decorations

 Silver Star
 Legion of Merit
 Distinguished Flying Cross (2)
 Meritorious Service Medal (3)
 Air Medal (18)
 Joint Service Commendation Medal
 Air Force Achievement Award

Flight Info

T-37
T-33
C-141
F-100
U-6
F-4
F-15
B727
MD80
B757
B767

Military Education

  • 1972 Squadron Officers School
  • 1977 Air Command and Staff College
  • 1985 National War College

Civilian Education

  • BS San Jose State
  • MBA Golden Gate University
Biography

Biography

HUN DAYS

After a four-month check-out in the F-100, some leave and jungle survival school at Clark AB, I was greeted at Phan Rang AB, RVN the last week of February 1967 by friendly but probably skeptical future 612th squadron mates.  Of the 30 or so in the class at Luke, all but five had orders to Hurlburt for O-1 FAC check-out.  Of the five of us to make it directly to Clark, four were assigned 90-day TDYs to Clark or Misawa AB.  I think I was the first of the “transition from other commands” pukes (more on this later) to arrive in country with a whopping 75 hours in the Hun.  My first mission March 1 in the pit was followed by a couple front seat F rides with an IP and then “cleared in hot” in the D model. Most of my missions were within about 150 miles of the base with a “no-fly” zone over the beautiful resort of Da Lat (near Phan Rang).  In May the squadron prepared to move further north to the newly constructed Phu Cat AB near Qui Nhon.

The missions there were more of the same tree busters, but we did get some additional “troops in contact” tasking.  My best close air support memory was delivering napalm and Mk82HDs under a 1000 foot ceiling. We had to pop above the thin overcast after each pass and re-enter a hole in the clouds several miles away and then reacquire the target.  I’ve told many others that one of my greatest rewards was getting our troops out of trouble and my greatest fear was hurting one of them in the process.

Aside from frequently being shot at and occasionally hit, one of the most demanding missions was at night with napalm and high-drag Mk82s in mountainous terrain with flares for illumination.  Then there was “hanging on the wing” in thunderstorms for sky-spot (radar vectored) runs with slick 750s. Later 7th AF headquarters advised that the ballistics in storms were not reliable and we should not release.

The Misty Fast FAC program had started after Phu Cat opened in June.  It was manned by volunteers from all of the in-country F-100 bases. My 612th ops officer, PJ White, became the second generation commander in September and he took me with him as Misty23 and the first LT in the program.  Our normal schedule was two on one off and, since I was based at Phu Cat, I would go back to the 612th on my “days off” to fly normal missions.  My first Misty ride was 8 Sep. On Sep 11, in the pit on the third mission with Bob Blocker, we attacked an SA-2 SAM transporter with a missile just north of the DMZ.  Nine strike flights later and a lot of NVA AAA expended, missile was amort.

It was going to be an exciting four-month assignment.  Sadly, I lost my only strike aircraft in November, an F-4 in Route Pack 1 on a “quiet” strike about 20 miles from the coast.  We were able to locate the back seat pilot (GIB) in his chute at about 1200 feet above the beach and later recover him but the AC went in the water with the jet.  In late fall the crummy weather forced the interdiction effort onto the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos. I had the honor to give Don Shepperd and Brian Williams their first rides north.  My final Misty mission #51 was New Year’s Day 1968.

I was back to the “in-country routine”, R&R to Sidney, Australia mid-January and ready to go home in early February, but events disrupted that schedule.  First, there was the siege at Khe Sanh where I remember flights being stacked 6-8 deep to support the Marines. Next was North Korea’s capture of the Navy’s USS Pueblo which diverted replacement assets to that theater and then TET 68.  

Suddenly short of pilots, I made a deal with the Wing DO to stay beyond my DEROS for another 7-10 days if put on alert every day.  One of the post-TET missions was bombing and strafing beautiful downtown Da Lat. It is a sad memory.

I wanted to go to Europe and was told that losing command had priority but I could stay in the Hun by accepting another remote tour to Wheelus AB in Libya.  I made a great decision, met hordes of jocks from Europe and flew more gunnery missions than any of them, and with virtually unrestricted flying. Of the 500 day assignment, 100 were TDY or on leave.  Personnel never called me again for another short tour.

I left Libya about three weeks before the Labor Day 69 coup.  Ferried a C model to Sacramento and returned to the new Torrejon AB, Spain assignment, and a recently failed ORI.  In the next four months at TJ, we passed the do-over ORI and I made a one-month deployment to Incirlik AB, Turkey just before the F-4 transition.  After 3+ years I finished with 1118 hours, half in the C model.

BEFORE THE HUN

I graduated from pilot training in class 65XG at Laughlin AFB, an experimental 42-week program (versus the normal 55-week course) with the same academics but less flying time.  I finished #9 in my class of 33. There were four F-100 assignments but they did not get down that far. I had grown up as a SAC dependent and did not want to spend my days on alert with minimal flying.  The F-4 was very new to the Air Force with the GIB career progression an unknown. I had no interest in four years in the back seat. I was not sure whether to make the Air Force a career, the airlines were a consideration so I elected to go to MATS (later MAC) to accumulate the most flying time.  I was very fortunate to be assigned to the first C-141 squadron at Travis AFB and learned a lot in a short time. But check-out after initial training was slow. I was so bored I volunteered to attend the Army paratrooper training at Ft Benning, GA in July. Fortunately, the operations officer nixed that foolish idea.  Upgrades were frustratingly slow and transporting troops and supplies into Viet Nam and bringing out coffins and litters did not seem to be enough, there was more to be done. I volunteered for F-100s and departed California after 18 months with 645 transport hours and a lot less enthusiasm about airline type flying.

AFTER THE HUN

I put in 6+ years in F-4Es at Torrejon and Nellis, finishing with 1330 hours.  I flew the F-15 on the ACEVAL/AIMAVL JTF and OT&E missions at Nellis until fall of 78 and was off to Eglin AFB to transition the 33rd TFW to F-15s.  I meant to stay there longer but a high level “misunderstanding” lead me to Kadena AB, Japan the fall of 1981 until 1984 as the 67th TFS DO/CC.  I had just over 8 years in the Eagle with 1335 hours.  I attended NWC Class of 1985 and then to the Pentagon until retirement Sep 87.

I want to express my utmost gratitude to the non-pilot officers, NCOs and airmen contributions in making all my missions possible and for the Hun experience keeping me on active duty.  Made lifelong friends and, having survived some demanding flying, would not trade my Air Force career for anything.

AFTER THE AIR FORCE

Twenty years after discarding the idea, I joined American Airlines until mandatory retirement in 2001.  Flew the B727, MD 80, B757, and B767 and was based at DCA, JFK, ORD, and BOS. I had fun and saw a lot of the world but glad I didn’t do it for 30 years.  Since then I’ve been busy using the travel benefits to visit those friends and attend many great reunions.

Units - Education - Awards - Flight Info

Units Assigned

  • 4/1964-2/1965 UPT, Laughlin AFB, TX (T-37, T-33)
  • 3/1965-8/1966 44 ATS, Travis AFB, CA  (C-141)
  • 9/1966-1/1967 CCTS Luke AFB, AZ (F-100)
  • 2/1967-2/1968 612th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Phan Rang/Phu Cat AB RVN/TDY Det 1, 416 TFS (F-100)
  • 9/1967-1/1968 as Misty 23
  • 3/1968-8/1969 7272 FTW, Wheelus AB, Libya (F-100)
  • 9/1969-2/1973 613 Tactical Fighter Squadron, Torrejon AB, Spain (F-100, F-4)
  • 3/1973-5/1976 414 FWS, Nellis AFB, NV (F-4)
  • 5/1976-11/1978 ACEVAL/AIMVAL JTF/422 FWS, Nellis AFB, NV (F-15)
  • 12/1978-10/1981 58/59/60 Tactical Fighter Squadron, Eglin AFB, FL (F-15)
  • 11/1981-6/1984 44/67 Tactical Fighter Squadron, Kadena AB, Japan (F-15)
  • 8/1984-6/1985 National War College Ft McNair, Washington, DC
  • 7/1985-9/1987 USAF Air Staff, Pentagon
  • 10/1987-7/2001 American Airlines, Washington DC, New York, Chicago, Boston (B727/MD80/B757/B767)

Awards & Decorations

 Silver Star
 Legion of Merit
 Distinguished Flying Cross (2)
 Meritorious Service Medal (3)
 Air Medal (18)
 Joint Service Commendation Medal
 Air Force Achievement Award

Flight Info

T-37
T-33
C-141
F-100
U-6
F-4
F-15
B727
MD80
B757
B767

Military Education

  • 1972 Squadron Officers School
  • 1977 Air Command and Staff College
  • 1985 National War College

Civilian Education

  • BS San Jose State
  • MBA Golden Gate University