GERALD B. CONNOR, LTCOL, USAF
Gerald Connor '51
Date of birth: June 4, 1927
Date of death: November 13, 1967
From the 1951 Lucky Bag:
From the February 1968 issue of SHIPMATE:
LtCol. Gerald B. Connor, USAF, died in an aircraft accident on 13 Nov. at Indian Springs Air Force Auxiliary Field, Nevada. He was conducting a Forward Air Control mission to F-100s from Nellis Air Force Base at the time of the accident. Requiem Mass was offered in the Nellis AFB Chapel, with interment in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors on the 20th.
Col. Connor was born in Milwaukee, Wis., and served in the Marine Corps before entering the Naval Academy. He was commissioned in the Air Force following graduation in 1951, then completed basic pilot and advanced training, followed by transition training in B-29 and KC-97 aircraft. He served with the 340th Air Refueling Squadron, Castle AFB, Calif., then completed a special weapons course at Keesler AFB, Miss., and electronics and special weapons training at Sandia Base, N. M.
He was Nuclear Weapons Officer, 3084th Operations Squadron at Westover AFB, Mass., then in July 1959 received a Master's degree in nuclear engineering at the Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. He served in the Advanced Nuclear Propulsion Office, U. S. Atomic Energy Commission at Germantown, Md.; was Research and Development Assistant to the Director, Advanced Development for the Deputy (Thief of Staff of Research and Engineering, Headquarters Air Force Systems Command; as Nuclear Engineer, Aerospace Nuclear Power Safety Program (Analysis), USAEC where he developed numerous nuclear safety programs still in use by AEC today, and was largely instrumental in getting SNAP 10A launched in space. He was transferred to the 505th Tactical Control Group in May 1966, as Forward Air Controller and 7th Air Force Civil Action Officer in Southeast Asia. He flew 174 combat missions in OlE and O1F aircraft and was decorated for heroism and achievement.
Col. Connor was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with two bronze Oak Leaf Clusters; the Bronze Star Medal; the Air Medal with one silver and two bronze Oak Leaf Clusters; the Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze service stars and the Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon. After his return from Vietnam he served as Commander, Detachment 1, Air Force Special Weapons Center at Indian Springs whose mission is to support AEC in underground nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site.
He is survived by his widow, Virginia, and daughter Wendy, presently at Merced, Ca. 95340 (address in care of Mr. and Mrs. George W. Clark, 364 E. 21st St.) ; his mother, Mrs. Mabel Connor, 3700 N. Morris Blvd., Milwaukee, Wis.; four brothers, Lt. Col. John Connor, U S A F (Ret.), Matthew, William and Thomas Cormor, and a sister, Mrs. Vera Crothers.
The other officer aboard was also lost.
Gerald is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.