UT College of Liberal Arts:
Air Force ROTC
Air Force ROTC

Heritage Honor Wall

Lt Gen Ken Eickmann, USAF (Ret.)

Class of 1967
Attained Highest Rank For Any Det 825 Graduate

From af.mil:

"[General Eickmann] was born in San Antonio, Texas, and entered the Air Force in 1967 as a distinguished graduate of the University of Texas' Reserve Officer Training Corps program. He has been a reliability and maintainability engineer on the F-106 and C-5 aircraft, and an F100 engine systems manager and division chief at an air logistics center and at the Air Staff. He has served as principal military adviser to the assistant secretary of the Air Force for research, development, acquisition and logistics; director of maintenance at an air logistics center; deputy chief of staff for logistics, Pacific Air Forces; chief of staff, staff director, and later, director of logistics, Air Force Materiel Command, and commander, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, the largest military and industrial complex in the Department of Defense. The state of Oklahoma declared July 11, 1995 "General Ken Eickmann Day" in recognition of his leadership and assistance to federal and state rescue and recovery efforts following the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. A recognized expert in propulsion technology, he has published several papers in technical journals in the United States and overseas."

From "The Eickmann Group":

"General Eickmann had a distinguished 31-year career in the Air Force including assignments as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics for two Major Commands, the Commander of the nation’s largest military industrial complex and Commander of the Aeronautical Systems Center, where he managed 2800 programs and employed 12,000 personnel with an annual budget in excess of $11billion at 35 locations worldwide.

He is currently State Vice Chairman of the Texas Engineer’s Task Force on Homeland Security, drawing on the personal expertise he gathered as a member of the leadership team directing the rescue and recovery efforts of US interests in the Philippines following the eruption of Mount Pinatubo and the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City.

More recently he has been a key member of the National Research Council Committee appointed to evaluate the National Aerospace Initiative for the Department of Defense with particular emphasis on “Hypersonic Flight” and “Access to Space”. He is currently serving as Chair of a USAF sponsored study for the National Academy of Sciences investigating the DoD and commercial propulsion (airbreathing, rocket, and in-space propulsion) technology base to determine whether efforts underway in the laboratory and industry will support necessary warfighting capabilities over the next 15 years.

A member of the Air Force Science & Technology Board (Air Force Studies Board), General Eickmann is also a member of the Board of Advisors for the Air Force Museum.

The General is a Registered Professional Engineer and a certified acquisition professional in acquisition logistics (Level III), program management (Level III) and systems planning, research, development and engineering (Level III). "


Brig Gen Everett McDonald, USAF (Ret.)

Class of 1947
UT Scholarship Bears His Name

From af.mil:

"Retired Dec. 1, 1969. Died April 26, 1984.

Everett A. McDonald was born in Davenport, Iowa, in 1919. He graduated from high school in Tipton, Iowa, in 1936 and completed three years of college studies at the University of Iowa. He later attended the University of Texas, graduating with a degree in business administration in 1947.

His first military assignment was that of flying cadet at Kelly Field, Texas. He received his pilot's wings at Kelly and was commissioned as second lieutenant in December 1940. His first assignment after being commissioned was that of single engine instructor pilot at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. Later he became a B-17 pilot instructor. His last position was being a command pilot in the KC-135 aircraft.

World War II assignments included duty as a B-29 squadron commander.

Major McDonald commanded the 3d Emergency Rescue Squadron in Japan from October 1947 to March 1948. At that time, he was transferred to the 5th Air Force and served as chief, Tactical Operations Section, Operations Branch until November 1949.

In mid-1950, Major McDonald was transferred to Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., and served on the Instructor Staff and Faculty of the Air Command and Staff School until late 1953. From November 1953 to August 1956, he was assigned to Biggs Air Force Base, Texas, with duty as director of operations of the 810th Air Division and director of operations of the 95th Bomb Wing.

In August 1956, Colonel McDonald returned to Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., this time as a student officer at the Air War College, graduating in July 1957. Upon graduation, he was assigned to the 3d Air Division at Guam with duty as the director of operations. He returned to the United States in August 1959 and was assigned to the Headquarters SAC staff. Prior to assuming his present position, chief of the Control Division, Colonel McDonald was chief of the Missions Branch and deputy chief of the Operations Plans Division, Directorate of Operations, Headquarters SAC. He was promoted to brigadier general July 1, 1964."

Currently, a memorial scholarship award for AFROTC cadets proudly bears the General's name.


Maj Chris Cooper

Class of 1997
Gave Last Full Measure 21 July 2008

Maj Chris CooperMajor Chris "Fireball" Cooper died in an B-52 crash off the coast of Guam on 21 July 2008. He was the aircraft commander and pilot in command. An aircraft system malfunction - an uncommanded "nose down" position on the horizontal stabilizer - caused the mishap.

From af.mil:

"Major Cooper was born in Massena, New York. He attended the University of Texas where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 1997. He entered the Air Force in 1997 and was commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps.

Major Cooper completed Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma in 1998. After receiving his wings, he attended B-52 pilot qualification training at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana and was assigned to fly the B-52 at Barksdale's 20th Bomb Squadron, 2d Bomb Wing.

In 2000, Major Cooper transferred to the 9th Air Support Operations Squadron, Fort Hood, Texas where he served as an Air Force Liaison Officer. During his service in this capacity, he deployed to Iraq in the 4th Infantry Division in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In 2003, Major Cooper returned to Barksdale AFB, Louisiana where he upgraded to B-52 Aircraft Commander and was assigned to fly at the 96th Bomb Squadron, 2nd Bomb Wing. At the 96th, Major Cooper served as a flight commander and was selected to attend Squadron Officer School in residence at Maxwell AFB, Alabama in 2005. In 2006, Major Cooper deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, providing B-52 support to the fight in Afghanistan. In 2007, he became the Chief of Strategic Plans Division where he played a pivotal role in ensuring the 96th met its conventional and nuclear requirements. In early 2008, he completed the Air Command and Staff College non-residence course and upgraded to the position of B-52 Instructor Pilot.

In May, 2008, Major Cooper deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam in support of the Department of Defense's continuous bomber presence in the Pacific. There he served as an Assistant Director of Operations for the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron.

Major Cooper was a Command Pilot with 1885 hours of flying time including 16 combat hours. His awards include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, and Army Achievement Medal."

From acc.af.mil:

"The remains of six B-52 Stratofortress aircrew members killed when their aircraft crashed off the northwest coast of Guam July 21 were laid to rest in a ceremony held Nov. 14 at Arlington National Cemetery.

Dozens of family members, friends and Airmen gathered at the graveside to bury Col. George T. Martin, Maj. Christopher M. Cooper, Maj. Brent D. Williams, Capt. Michael K. Dodson, 1st Lt. Robert D. Gerren and 1st Lt. Joshua D. Shepherd. Five of the six aircrew members were assigned to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., and Colonel Martin was a flight surgeon and deputy commander of the 36th Medical Group at Andersen Air Base, Guam.

The Barksdale Airmen were deployed to Guam with the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron as part of DOD's continuous bomber presence mission in the Pacific. The bomber was flying a training mission and was scheduled to perform a flyover for Guam's Liberation Day parade when it crashed.

"We find that this nation, for nearly 150 years, has done what we're doing today. That is to bring our honored sons and daughters here to Arlington National Cemetery to take their place with other patriots who have been laid to rest here," said Chaplain (Col.) Charlie Stutts, who officiated at the ceremony along with Chaplain (Col.) Martin McGuill. "Men and women who answered the call of their country--who all served that this nation might be free. Some, like those today, gave of themselves fully. Today as we come to this final resting place, we show our respect and honor (them)."

Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Norton A. Schwartz paid their respects to the Airmen's families as well. General Schwartz presented a representative of each aircrew member's family with a U.S. flag.

"It was an honor to present the flag to our cherished families as a token of our sincere remorse for their loss and our utmost gratitude for their family's sacrifice," said General Schwartz. "We can never express the full magnitude of our respect for their selfless service in defense of our Nation."

From FOX 28:

"The Massena community is mourning one of its own - a decorated Afghanistan and Iraq veteran killed when the B-52 bomber he was piloting crashed into the Pacific Ocean near Guam on Monday.

Air Force Major Christopher Cooper graduated from Massena Central School in 1992.

Cooper’s body and that of another crew member were recovered Monday while the search goes on for four other members of the crew.

The unarmed bomber had been headed for a flyover in a parade celebrating the liberation of Guam from Japan.

Cooper was the son of longtime Alcoa spokesman Mike Cooper, who spent 16 years at Alcoa’s Massena operations.

“He was doing what he wanted to do in life and he was proud of it and we were proud of him,” said Mike Cooper.

Cooper, an 11 year veteran of the Air Force, would have celebrated his 34th birthday on August 10.

Retired Massena High School English teacher Lee Baines remembers Christopher Cooper not only as a family-oriented student, but also as playing an active role in the school’s drama club and musical theater programs.

“When I think about Chris, I think about family, his late mother, his brother Tim and his father Mike. Chris had many talents. He always knew he was going to be a pilot and he always knew he was going to go into the military,” said Baines.

During the 2008 OU vs. UT football game at Red River, a B-52 flyover occured in honor of Major Chris Cooper. The video can be seen here:


RAIDR 21 Crew MemorialA memorial was created at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., to remember the six crew members of RAIDR 21 who died in a crash July 21, 2008, while deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam. The call-sign of their B-52 Stratofortress was RAIDR 21. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Trina R. Jeanjacques)~from www.af.mil


Major Robert L. Tucci

Class of 1966 (Jan 1966)
Gave Last Full Measure, 12 Nov 1969

Robert L. Tucci, Family PhotoMajor Robert L. Tucci was laid to rest on 14 January 2011 at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery. Fittingly, he was buried alongside his F-4 crewmate, Col James Dennany.

On 12 Nov 1969, then-Captain Robert L. Tucci and his co-pilot, then-Maj James Dennany, were shot down in their F-4D Phantom on a mission during the Vietnam War. They remained Missing in Action for decades until their remains were recovered and identified by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command.

Maj Tucci was on his second tour of duty in Vietnam. At the time of his shootdown, he had completed more than 200 combat missions.

Maj Tucci earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Texas at Austin in January 1966 and received his commission in the Air Force through detachment 825, AFROTC.

(Source: Dallas News.Com, 14 Jan 2011)

The remains of Col. James E. Dennany and Maj. Robert L. Tucci are carried off an airliner Thursday at D/FW Airport. Dallas Morning News/Jim Mahoney

Dallas Star-Telegram article


Capt John E. Simpson

Gave Last Full Measure 2 September 1958

From arlingtoncemetary.net

"From a contemporary press report: September 1997:

On the 39th anniversary of their deaths on an aerial spy mission over Soviet Armenia, 17 Air Force officers and airmen were publicly honored Tuesday by one of the most secretive branches of U.S. intelligence.

In an outdoor ceremony near its headquarters, the National Security Agency -- the government's code-breakers and code-makers -- dedicated an Aerial Reconnaissance Memorial to cryptologists who died on spy missions during the Cold War, including the crew of a C-130 plane shot down by Soviet fighters on September 2, 1958.

``We will never forget their sacrifice," said Air Force Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minihan, director of the National Security Agency, at a ceremony attended by several hundred, including relatives of 11 of the 17 members of the C-130 crew.

U.S. officials, who for years denied the C-130 was on a spy mission, now say the plane strayed from its planned route over eastern Turkey and crossed into Armenia, where it was attacked by Soviet MiG-17 fighters. The C-130 crashed near Sadnashen, a village 34 miles northwest of Yerevan, the Armenian capital. The plane was equipped to intercept Soviet communications signals.

The Soviets returned the remains of six of the crewmen shortly after the crash. Five of the six have been positively identified. The 11 other men remain unaccounted for and are believed to have burned up in the crash.

General Ralph E. Eberhart, the Air Force vice chief of staff, said public recognition was long overdue for the C-130 crew, whom he called ``those silent warriors."

Mark Simpson, 39, an Air Force major, was 31/2 months old when his father, Captain John E. Simpson, took off in the C-130 from Incirlik Air Base in Turkey.

Just last April the Simpson family learned that DNA testing had confirmed that one set of remains returned by the Soviets was John Simpson. He will be buried on Wednesday at Arlington National Cemetery.

At the Fort Meade ceremony, Mark Simpson's older brother, John E. Simpson Jr., accepted the posthumous Air Medal on behalf of his father. The medal, for meritorious service, was awarded to each of the 17 crew members.

"It's good for our family," Mark Simpson said afterward. "And it's an opportunity for some families to gain closure."

Other members of the C-130 crew included Captain Paul E. Duncan, Captain Edward J. Jeruss, Captain Rudy J. Swiestra, First Lieutenant Ricardo M. Villareal, Master Sergeant George P. Petrochilos, Technical Sergeant, Arthur L. Mello, Staff Sergeant Laroy Price and Airman 1st Class Robert J. Oshinskie. There were also eight men with the rank of Airman 2nd Class: Archie T. Bourg Jr., James E. Ferguson Jr., Joel H. Fields, Harold T. Kamps, Gerald C. Maggiacomo, Clement O. Mankins, Gerald H. Medeiros and Robert H. Moore."

Currently, the Detachment 825's library in Bellmont 618E proudly bears Captain Simpson's name on its door.


Capt Paul F. Gilbert

Class of 1963
Gave Last Full Measure 18 June 1972

Capt Paul GilbertOn June 18, 1972, the AC-130 gunship flown by Det 825 alumnus Capt Paul Gilbert was shot down over Laos. He was MIA for more than twenty years.

In 1994 his remains were laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.


1st Lt Albert H. "Rip" Torn

Class of 1982
Gave Last Full Measure 17 October 1984

As seen on F-111.net:

On October 17, 1984, in Lincoln County, New Mexico, Lt Torn's aircraft, an F-111D (USAF S/N: 68-164), crashed and was destroyed. The crash site was on the Harkey Ranch, 15 miles North of Carrizozo, New Mexico, a town approximately 200 miles southwest of Clovis. His aircraft struck the top of a hill at 6200 feet.

Lt Torn was on a training mission with his instructing pilot, Capt "Tex" Pryor, in the evening.


Capt Mary (von Stein) Jennings

Class of 1999
Combat Pilot, HH-60G Pave Hawk & Purple Heart Winner

Capt. Mary Jennings stands with Tech. Sgt. Aaron Butler, a pararescueman from the 23rd Wing, Moody Air Force Base, Ga. Sergeant Butler treated Captain Jennings for shrapnel wounds in Afghanistan during a July 29, 2009 rescue mission. Captain Jennings is a co-pilot with the 129th Rescue Wing at Moffett Federal Airfield, Calif. (Courtesy photo)

Capt. Mary Jennings stands with Tech. Sgt. Aaron Butler, a pararescueman from the 23rd Wing, Moody Air Force Base, Ga. Sergeant Butler treated Captain Jennings for shrapnel wounds in Afghanistan during a July 29, 2009 rescue mission. Captain Jennings is a co-pilot with the 129th Rescue Wing at Moffett Federal Airfield, Calif. (Courtesy photo)

by Airman 1st Class Jessica Green
129th Rescue Wing Public Affairs

12/11/2009 - MOFFETT FEDERAL AIRFIELD, Calif. (AFNS) - An Air National Guard member from the 129th Rescue Squadron here recently returned home from her deployment to Afghanistan after being wounded by enemy forces while rescuing three injured American Soldiers July 29.

Capt. Mary Jennings, an HH-60G Pave Hawk co-pilot, launched her rescue helicopter, call sign Pedro 15, from Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, en route to a convoy that had fallen under attack after a vehicle struck an improvised explosive device.

"We couldn't see any enemy fire as we arrived on scene," said Maj. George Dona, Pedro 15 pilot, also from 129th RQS. "We were in voice contact with the Soldiers on the ground and we could hear over their radios that they were under distress."

The Soldiers were taking cover from hidden enemy positions on the western side of the convoy. The helicopter took immediate fire from the enemy upon the first landing, taking off right away, in enough time to drop off two pararescuemen in the zone, Major Dona said.

"One shot actually came directly into the cockpit and pretty much destroyed the entire co-pilot windshield," Major Dona said. "Captain Jennings took shrapnel and there was blood instantly all over her side."

The pararescue team lead member from the 71st Rescue Squadron assigned to the 23rd Wing at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., stayed on the aircraft after the first landing to ensure Captain Jennings was all right while the rest of his pararescue team deplaned to collect the patients. The HH-60G flew about a mile south to escape enemy fire and to guarantee that both the helicopter and crew were in good enough condition to continue the save, Captain Jennings said.

"The helicopter was determined fully functional," she said. "We couldn't bring ourselves to return home without the patients."

Despite the danger the aircrew faced, the crew including Senior Master Sgt. Steven Burt, a 129th RQS flight engineer, and Tech. Sgt. Tiejie Jones, a 129th RQS aerial gunner, returned to the scene after getting a call from the pararescuemen saying they were ready to haul out the three patients, Major Dona said.

"Then again, as soon as we landed we took immediate fire. We landed next to the patients and the (pararescuemen) were already moving them in," he said. "We took constant fire, and in about 20 rounds to the backside of the helicopter the systems started to deteriorate slowly."

Captain Jennings told Major Dona, who was on controls, to hold the helicopter on the ground through the fire as she watched the pararescuemen load the patients onto the helicopter.

"There were people yelling, lights flashing, and people screaming through the radios, all while dodging bullets," Captain Jennings said. "Major Dona had a lot of patience and confidence in his team to stay on the ground through all the chaos. His amazing pilotage skills saved all our lives."

About 30 seconds after takeoff, the back cabin was full of fuel, hydraulics were leaking, and systems were not working correctly. Captain Jennings flipped the fuel selector to cross feed between the two fuel tanks to keep the engine from flaming out. This was a huge factor in keeping the helicopter airborne, Major Dona said.

"As I enabled the second tank, I saw it was ticking down to zero as well," Captain Jennings said. "We needed to land. It was a decision to either crash three miles away or land two miles away."

The helicopter crew made the right decision. After landing the helicopter about two miles south of the convoy attack, the crew shut down and quickly secured a perimeter to protect the patients. Another HH-60G landed next to their crippled helicopter and the crew loaded all patients and as many crewmembers as possible before departing, Major Dona said.

"Army OH-58D Kiowa helicopters came to retrieve the rest of the crew," Captain Jennings said. "Being small single-engine, single-rotor, two-seater helicopters, there was no room for us inside. We had to stand on the skids and hold onto rocket pods."

Sergeant Burt also showed valor during the ordeal. While pararescuemen were loading patients onto the second HH-60G and the crew was being exfiltrated on to the skids of their cover ships, one of the pararescuemen called for help. Sergeant Burt ran through a rain of fire to help, Captain Jennings said.

"He totally put his life on the line," she said. "I'm extremely proud of my crew's heroism."

Looking back at the incident, Captain Jennings said she is thankful for her crew and their bravery.

"In a country where rocket-propelled grenades are used everywhere, it was a amazing that no one had an RPG. Everything was covered in fuel, including ourselves." she said. "It was nothing short of a miracle that we survived."

Captain Jennings was awarded a Purple Heart by Maj. Gen. Dennis Lucas, commander of the California Air National Guard, in a ceremony attended by her family, friends and fellow 129th RQW Airmen Dec. 6 at the Santa Clara Convention Center.


Michael Woodward

Distinguished Performance in AFROTC Program

"That Others May Live"

C/Lt Col Michael Woodward held a distinguished and impressive performance record in his years as a cadet in Detachment 825. As an active member of THUDs and other ROTC organizations who consistently achieved the maximum score on the Air Force Physical Fitness Test, C/Woodward went through the grueling selection process for a Pararescue/CRO position in the Air Force. Through a rigorous training regimen and a fierce determination to excel, Woodward passed Phases 1 and 2 of CRO selection and was well on his way to having an exciting and distinguished career as an integral member of the Air Force Special Operations Command.

On March 9, 2006, Michael Woodward's vehicle, which contained 3 other passengers including his fianceé, Fan Sun, was struck by a tractor-trailer. Woodward passed away from his injuries.

A memorial in honor of his achievements in Detachment 825 is proudly displayed in the AFROTC "Cadet Hangar" in Bellmont 614.


Annie Weatherall

Class of 1998
Bears UT Scholarship Award in Her Name

C/Capt Annie Weatherall was a distinguished cadet in Detachment 825 as well as an excellent student in the College of Natural Sciences. Her active participation in ROTC events as well as her motivational attitude made her a positive asset to the Detachment as well as those around her.

Annie Weatherall was involved in a car accident in 1997 and passed away from her injuries.

Currently, there is a memorial scholarship fund for Detachment 825 cadets in honor of Annie Weatherall, hosted by Mr. Robert W. Ritchey. The Air Force ROTC classroom in Robert A. Steindam Hall (RAS 317) was dedicated to Cadet Weatherall. Now that Steindam Hall is being demolished, Detachment 825's temporary classroom, Sanchez 464, proudly bears her name.


  • Detachment 825 AFROTC

    University of Texas at Austin
    305 East 23rd Street, CLA 5.726
    Mailcode C3600
    Austin, TX 78712
    512-471-1776 Detachment E-mail: AFROTCDET825@utexas.edu