Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) James Faulkner served in the Air Force from October 1962 until August 1991. During his 29 years of active service, the Air Force allowed Faulkner to reach his childhood goal to fly an airplane.
One of his most memorable moments was flying the B-52 in airborne nuclear alert missions during the Cold War. These missions were 24 to 27 hours long and required aerial refueling to complete the mission.
Another memorable moment was when he lost a T-38 engine on takeoff and had to fly around and land heavy with one engine out. After landing, they discovered the aircraft had a fire associated with the engine failure.
Even after retiring, the Air Force helped Faulkner further his education, meet great people and continue to be associated with the flying mission. Faulkner served in leadership positions in various organizations including Daedalians, Air Force Navigator/Observers Association and the Air Force Association Chapter 214. He also plans reunions for his pilot training class and other squadrons, and organizations he was associated with in the Air Force.
Faulkner is as a civil service T-6 simulator instructor pilot at Vance Air Force Base, Okla. He uses his flying experience to teach future Air Force pilots how to fly better and he has developed sorties that demonstrate a pilot's knowledge of aircraft systems, characteristics and limitations.
In October 2015 he will have been associated with the Air Force mission for 53 years.