Henry John “Perk” Pirkkala, Maj USAF (Ret) “Headed West” on January 22, 2022.

“Perk” Pirkkala, 82 Headed West after a protracted illness.

Perk was commissioned at age 20 after Nav training and first flew as a Radar Intercept Officer in F-89’s and F-101s. He retired from the USAF at age 40!

John Pirkkala flew the F-10o with the 429th Tactical Fighter Squadron, “Black Falcons”, out of Cannon AFB, NM from August 1967 to March of 1968 and then with the 352nd Tactical Fighter Squadron “Yellow Jackets” out of Phan Rang AB, Vietnam from April 1968 to April of 1969.

We are sorry to learn of the passing of Major Henry J. Pirkkala Jr, USAF (Retired).  He was a Vietnam War Veteran and served over 20‑years active duty during his Air Force career.  John flew 257 combat missions in the F-100D and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, 12 Air Medals and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm device for his actions during the Vietnam War.  John was proud to have been a member of the Cadet Class of 1960.

Steve Reale, Major, US Air Force, Retired (Aviation Cadet Class 60-20N) wrote the following:

“To: All,

We are sorry to learn of the passing of Major Henry J. Pirkkala Jr, USAF (Retired).  He was a Vietnam War Veteran and served over 20‑years active duty during his Air Force career.  John flew 257 combat missions in the F-100D and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, 12 Air Medals and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm device for his actions during the Vietnam War.  John was proud to have been a member of the Cadet Class of 1960.

To: John’s family,

We are sincerely sorry for your loss.  As a fellow member of the 1960 Aviation Cadet Class we, as a class, deliver

a “Final‑Salute” and Military TAPS.”

Memorial Service information will be posted as it is released.

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