21. June 2005 · Comments Off on Air Force Space and Missile Pioneer Dies · Categories: Air Force

From Air Force News, June 21, 2005:

SAN ANTONIO (AFPN) — Retired Gen. Bernard Adolph Schriever, widely regarded as the father and architect of the Air Force space and ballistic missile programs, died of natural causes at home in Washington on June 20.

I’m embarrassed to say that I thought General Schriever had passed away years ago. Nonetheless, I am deeply in his debt. In 1983, when I was still a 1Lt, my unit, the 20th Missile Warning Squadron, was one of the first in the newly formed Air Force Space Command (simply called Space Command back then). It was cool to be on the cutting edge, since it was obvious even then that Space Command was the place to be. And look how far it’s come since then.

Actually, the General’s influence on me personally goes back even further. In the early 60s, my dad was part of the team that introduced the Minuteman to F.E. Warren AFB (General Schriever helped develop the Minuteman program, as the AF news article points out). Living on base in Cheyenne is one of my earliest memories, and being an Air Force brat obviously played a part in my later decision to join the military.

I was unaware that the General was born in Germany (he came to America in 1917).

Perhaps this is a name to add to this list of 100 greatest Americans, since this list is unredeemable.

UPDATED 6/22/05: I thought I had a link that would let you quickly see Discovery Channel’s entire top 100 Americans list, but they fooled me. I have found such a link now (the second of the two links in the last paragraph above). For more on this list, see my post at Ticklish Ears.

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