Honored first in this series were CNC's 61 First Decaders who served in our nation's Army, plus the two who were killed in action. That article required 2 parts. Honored second were the 23 who were in the Navy and the 2 in the Coast Guard, plus CNC's first president, H. Westcott (Scotty) Cunningham (Navy, WW2). The third article saluted our 12 Marines, including Pat Giguere (KIA) in Grenada, and CNC's second president, James C. (Jim) Windsor, who fought in Korea. This last article honors those who served in the Air Force (19). As in the other articles honoring CNC's First Decade veterans, photographs and information were provided by the veterans themselves and the full LIST of veterans in this branch is published separately.
After one academic year at CNC (1965-66), Joseph F. (Joe) Hutchko joined the USAF, serving 1966-70. Happily, at his first base assignment, in Syracuse, New York, he met Bobbi, also stationed there, who soon became his wife (photo of them right). Later, Joe spent a year (1969) stationed in Saigon, Vietnam. His last USAF assignment was at a small base in Kansas City, Missouri. He left service honorably as a Staff Sergeant. Joe then returned to CNC and completed his BS degree in Management Information Science in 1974. His is a CNC family, with 13 years of attendance invested there. Wife Bobbi attended three years, their son attended two, and their daughter earned her BS in biology at CNC in four years.
The photo left above is of a 4-man Titan II ICBM combat crew of the late 1960s. The young man on the right is James R. (Jim) Watson. After completing two years at CNC (1964-66), Jim served in the USAF 1966-70. Stationed at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, AZ, he and his crew pulled 24-hour alerts (around eight per month) in remote underground missile sites located 20 to 30 miles from their base. Their job was to keep their Titan II ICBM, with its nuclear warhead, on alert status, ready to be launched (as in photo two) if the order came to go to war. Jim was "so glad that never happened." Overall, he wrote, "The job was very easy, so we had lots of time to read. I read a lot of books and took a correspondence college course during the time I served." After leaving service as a Staff Sergeant, then completing studies at the University of Arizona, Jim became an architect.
Edwin J. (Ted) McFalls, Jr. served in the Air Force both before and during his attendance at CNC. He served 1961-65 on active duty at Langley AFB, Hampton. The photo in his dress blues was taken at Christmas time in 1962 when he was home on leave. The second picture, in work clothes, was taken at Langley, where Ted was assigned to the 4500 Transportation Squadron Log Air section. He took a moment to smile at the photographer while waiting for a C130 aircraft to land so it could be loaded with cargo going to Vietnam. Ted went immediately from active to reserve duty, serving 1965-67 while also attending CNC, where he was active in track and flag football. He left the USAF at the rank of Airman First Class.
The photo right shows Dr. Herminio Cuervo, MD, in his flight suit while he was serving with the 612th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Torrejon Air Base, Spain, in 1990. After attending CNC, then completing his BS at William and Mary in 1968, Herminio earned his MD & PhD at the University of Salamanca-Spain in 1974. Then he served actively in the USAF 1974-82 in Germany, Italy, and Turkey. In Wiesbaden, Germany, he was Chief of Neurology, USAF Europe. Back in America, in 1979 Herminio earned another medical degree at Harvard University's Medical School. In January 1981, he participated in the Rescue of 52 American hostages held in the American Embassy in Teheran, Iran.
Herminio then served in the USAF Reserve 1983-88, deployed to Central America in support of the Contras in Nicaragua., and in 1988, he earned a third medical degree from Florida International University in Miami. He served again actively 1988-93, deployed to Spain, Morocco, Italy and Turkey--during which time he participated in Desert Shield and Desert Storm.He left the Air Force as Lieutenant Colonel. Currently, he is Chief of Neurology at Lakeland Regional Medical Center in Lakeland, FLA.
After completing two years at CNC (1966-68), Michael B. (Mike) Witty served on active duty in the Air Force seven years (1968-75), then spent an additional year in the AF Reserve, ending his service as Tech Sergeant. The photo left above shows him receiving an AF Systems Command Certificate of Achievement in September 1971, at the rank of Staff Sergeant. The second photo, made recently, proves that there are some who can still fit into their 50-year-old dress uniforms. Mike posed with his youngest grandsons at their elementary school's annual Veterans and First Responders Parade in Winchester, Va.
Mike served 14 months overseas at Wheelus AFB in Tripoli, Libya (Dec. 1968 - Feb. 1970). The rest of his service was primarily at Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland AFB, TX, and Air Force Systems Command Headquarters, Andrews AFB, MD. He took college courses on and off base everywhere he was stationed. A Boot-Strap Degree Leave of six months to attend Culver-Stock College full time in Canton, MO enabled him to complete his BS in Business Administration there in December 1973.
Luther (Lew) Richardson (photos above) served 7 years (1955-61) in the USAF in England, Germany, and Virginia. While stationed in England Lew met Patricia, from Liverpool, and married her December 6, 1958. Photo left above shows him in winter dress uniform the day of the wedding. After Lew's deployment in Wiesbaden, Germany ended, the couple moved to Virginia, where Lew was stationed at Langley AFB, Hampton, with the USAF Second Weather Group.
On May 5, 1961, Lew participated in an historic event. Astronaut Alan Shepard was piloting Mercury-Redstone 3, or Freedom 7, 90 miles above the Earth, in the first manned orbital flight of Project Mercury. About three minutes after launch, Shepard reported the weather conditions he saw from Cocoa, FLA to Cape Hatteras, NC. Lew heard and taped Shepard's report and immediately sent it to all USA weather stations. It was the world's first pilot report from space. The Daily Press article "LAFB Weatherman Sends Space Pilot's First Report On Conditions" included the second photo above, showing Lew at work. That fall, he enrolled at CNC. Later he enrolled in NASA's Apprentice School and eventually became a computer programmer at NASA.
Stationed at Langley AFB 1965-69, Robert J. (Bob) Tutton (photo left) began his academic studies part time at CNC in 1968. After leaving the Air Force, he enrolled full time at CNC, where he completed an AA degree in 1971 and a BA in psychology in 1973 which, he writes, "truly changed my life." His BA, followed a year later by an MS in counseling at VCU in Richmond, started him on a career path in higher education. Bob joined the Army National Guard in 1981, serving as a personnel officer, but also, between periods of active duty, working at John Tyler Community College as a counselor.
A member of CNC's first baccalaureate degree class, William Keith (Keith) Kahle (Air Force photo right) completed his BS in Biology in 1971 and his MD at UVA in 1975. During his medical studies, Keith also served on active duty in the U.S. Air Force, beginning in 1971. He completed his medical internship at Kessler AFB, in Biloxi, MS, his orthopedic surgery residency at Georgia Baptist Hospital in Atlanta, and a fellowship in pediatric orthopedic surgery at the University of Utah, in Salt Lake City. He also was stationed in England for three years. After 20 years as an orthopedic surgeon in the Air Force, he retired in 1991 as a Lt. Colonel. Then he joined the Dean Health System in Madison, WI, practicing spine surgery.
He completed two more advanced degrees while continuing to serve John Tyler CC--an Educational Specialist degree (William and Mary, 1999) and a Doctor of Arts degree (George Mason, 2003). He retired from the Guard in 1999 as a lieutenant colonel. He was promoted in 2005 to academic dean at John Tyler, where he served in that office until retiring in 2008. He wrote that he is "grateful to CNC for giving me the opportunity to launch my education and my career as a professional counselor and academic dean."