By Vern Ellis
Early Wednesday morning we boarded the bus for our tour of the U.S. Air Force Academy. The first stop on campus was at “Diamond Lil”, the B-52 on display just inside the North gate. Diamond Lil’s claim to fame is the fact that it was the first B-52 to shoot down a MiG-21 during the closing days of “Linebacker” over NVN. A quick “photo op” stop along the north drive gave us an idea of how expansive the athletic facilities are for the cadets. Then it was on to the Visitors Center where we met our guides for the remaining tour, Frank Perez from Public Affairs and Jimmy Fox from the Visitors Center. (Jimmy had also served at Korat where he was an armament specialist on the A-7.) Also joining us as special guides were 2 outstanding young cadets, Andrew Dane and Jake Sorter, that had just completed their first year at the AFA. Two very impressive young gentlemen!
August 2014 Update: Cadet Jake Sorter has been selected to serve as the Cadet Wing Commander for the 2014-2015 school year!
Our walking tour from the Visitors Center and the iconic chapel area took us past many impressive statues, memorials, and static aircraft displays. The beloved F-105 made the perfect backdrop for our group photo.
The Commandant of Cadets, Major General (S) Richard M. Clark, was kind enough meet and greet us as we arrived at the “Walk of Hero’s”, where the statue of Lt. Karl Richter stands in honor. We wrapped up our tour with a special buffet luncheon at the Academy’s Falcon Club. Afternoon and evening was free to see the local sights or relax again at the hospitality room.