2017 AFA Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

Each year AFA recognizes groups or individuals for their lifetime of achievement in the advancement of aerospace power. Four recipients for 2017 were honored at the Air Force 70th Birthday Dinner on September 18th, these individuals have accomplished so much throughout their lives. This year’s winners are Gen Ronald Fogleman, USAF (Ret.), Col Clarence E. “Bud” Anderson, USAF (Ret.), Elinor Otto, and the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial Foundation.

General Fogleman served as the 15th Chief of Staff of the Air Force. A command pilot and a parachutist, he amassed more than 6,800 flying hours in fighter, transport, tanker and rotary wing aircraft. He flew 315 combat missions and logged 806 hours of combat flying. He was a high-speed forward air controller in Vietnam and Thailand. He commanded an Air Force Wing, Division, numbered Air Force, Major Command and a Unified Command.

Colonel Anderson is a World War II Triple Ace. During the war, he was the highest scoring ace in his P-51 Mustang Squadron. Anderson flew two tours of combat against the Luftwaffe in Europe while with the 363rd Fighter Squadron, and was the group’s third leading ace with 16 ¼ aerial victories. His P-51 Mustang, nicknamed the “Old Crow” carried him safely though 116 missions without being hit by enemy fire. After the war, Anderson became chief of the fighter test section at Wright Patterson, where he flew many models of the early jet aircraft as a test pilot.

Elinor Otto is one of the original Rosie the Riveters, who worked to build airplanes for 50 years. She began work at Rohr Aircraft Corp during World War II, manufacturing airplane parts. Over the years Elinor worked for Ryan Aeronautical, Douglas Aircraft Company, and finally at the Boeing Company. In 2014, Elinor retired at the age of 95, earning the title of “America’s Longest Working Rosie”. As of 2014, she had worked on every single C-17 aircraft built at Boeing. Elinor is a “Spirit of ’45 Day” National Spokeswoman, and helps to promote awareness of the role women played during World War II.

The Lafayette Escadrille Memorial Foundation commemorates the American volunteer pilots who gave their lives during World War I, under the French Colors. They became an active unit of the French Air Service a year before the United States Congress declared war. The Lafayette Escadrille Memorial Foundation, created in 1930 has raised the funds necessary to repair and preserve the memorial. Over the years, the memorial had fallen into disrepair, but the foundation was instrumental in coordinating with the American Battle Monuments Commission so the memorial will be preserved well into the future.