George P. Lynch, Jr., Col USAF, Ret., “Headed West” on June 4, 2024.

George Patrick “Buzz” Lynch, Jr passed away at age 89 on Tuesday, 4 June 2024 at his home in Rancho Mirage, CA. The love of his life Maxine Lundt was by his side. Buzz is survived by his sister Ginger Heard, brother Richard Lynch, stepbrother Patrik Lynch, step daughters Brita Womack and DG Dehlsen, daughter Kelli Cieply, sons Tim, Pat, and Mike, and many loving grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and extended family.

Buzz was born in Salt Lake City, UT on 21 Jun 1934 to the late Brigadier General George and Dorothy Lynch. A long lineage of military professionals has been an integral part of the family history. Buzz graduated from Heidelberg, Germany High School in 1951 during which time his love of fishing, hunting, and skiing started a life time pursuit of these passions. He then graduated from West Point Military Academy and opted to join the USAF.

His flying career began in 1956. Graduating as a Distinguished Graduate from pilot training (Webb AFB, TX), he then attended gunnery training in the F-86 and F-100. From 1958 to 1964, he flew with the 356th Tactical Fighter Squadron (Myrtle Beach, SC) and accrued 1400 hours in the F-100 with a dozen transoceanic flights.

In 1966 he received his Master of Science Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology (Wright Patterson AFB, OH) and then selected to attend the Air Force Test Pilot School (Edwards AFB, CA). Next, he flew a combat tour with the 559th Tactical Fighter Squadron (Cam Rahn Bay, South Vietnam) flying F-4s and served as a Flight Commander.

From 1970 to 1973, he was back to Edwards AFB flying F-4 test missions and conducted the AIM-4D live fire tests. He then led the YA-9 versus YA-10 flyoff evaluation; he flew the first USAF flight in the YA-10 on 13 June 1972.

In 1974, Buzz graduated from the Air War College (Maxwell AFB, AL) as a Distinguished Graduate and then was reassigned to the Air Force Fighter Weapons Center (Nellis AFB, NV) as the Director of Systems Test. His projects included electronic warfare systems and the Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation System. His last assignment was to Wright Patterson AFB as the Deputy Commander of Operations 4950 th Test Wing where he served with distinction until his retirement in 1979.

He flew 34 different aircraft and logged approximately 6,000 flight hours during his military flying career. His awards include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, the Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Air Medal with eight oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with palm. Other Notable Honors and Achievements

*President of Society of Experimental Test Pilots (1999)

*Built a Skybolt bi-plane (“Blue Max”) and earned a craftsmanship award at Oshkosh Int Fly-in

*Acrobatic pilot for Holiday Inn International, Team America, Sierra Aces, and Tahoe Aces Teams

*Flew test flights in F-4s and T-33s for AVTEL when in his youthful 60s

Buzz and Max resided in Redlands and Rancho Mirage for the last 3 decades enjoyed retirement with many dear friends playing golf and tennis in the greater Rancho Las Palmas community.

A Celebration of Life is being planned for late September (currently planning for 28 September at the Air Museum). In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Palm Springs Air Museum via a link in their website ( Or you may mail a donation in his name to:

Palm Springs Air Museum
745 N. Gene Autry Trail
Palm Springs, CA 92262

Buzz Lynch was extraordinary in so many ways and will be forever missed.

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