Published April 25, 2016
Colonel (Ret.) Robert Inghram graduated as a 2nd Balloon fighter pilot in July 1941 for the U.S. Army Air Corps. Inghram flew P39s while assigned to the 31st Fighter Group and later flew spitfires with the British during World War II. While flying over the English Channel during the Dieppe Raid, Inghram was shot down after his fifth mission. Inghram spent 33 months at Stalag Luft German prison camp and was one of three Americans to dig the Great Escape tunnels.
After the war, Inghram held a variety of duties from legal officer to personnel officer and was deployed to Panama, Puerto Rico, Canada and then to Laos during the Vietnam War where he organized the Airborne to Battlefield Atlanta Command and Control Center. Later, Inghram was in charge of the 135 Program, also known as the Orion spacecraft.
After 28 years of military service, Inghram went to work for Pan America where he flew the Embassy Run and was in charge of the Shuttle Program and later retired after 20 years.
After retirement, Inghram received a Master's Degree in Education and later shared his WWII experiences with students of all ages along with civic groups. He is also a life member of the Order of the Daedalians.
Inghram’s fondest memory in the Air Force was when “General Patton’s 3rd Army brought an end to his behind the wire experience as a prisoner of war.”