Air Force Col. Richard Graham (Ret.) flew the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird from 1974-1981. He was the SR-71 Squadron Commander in 1981, later becoming the 9th Wing Commander at Beale AFB. Prior to flying the SR-71, he flew 210 combat missions in Vietnam in the F-4 and as a Wild Weasals pilot, trolling for surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems. Colonel Graham’s military decorations include three Legion of Merit awards, four Distinguished Flying Cross medals, and 19 Air Medals. He was the 1999 recipient of the University of Nebraska’s William F. Shea Award and in 2005 he was awarded the Kelly Johnson trophy.
One of only 86 pilots who have experienced the thrill of flying the world’s fastest jet aircraft on secret operational reconnaissance missions around the globe, Colonel Graham is also the author of four books on the SR-71, including his latest The Complete Illustrated History of the SR-71 Blackbird.
The lecture is for members of the Museum's National Air and Space Society and their guests only. There is no charge for Society members to attend, but advance reservations are required. If you would like to become a member, visit airandspace.si.edu/membership. Membership dues directly support the National Air and Space Museum and begin at just $35.
There will also be a buffet dinner reception before the lecture with Colonel Graham for Society members at the Mercury Friendship 7 level and higher. For more information about the reception, contact the Membership Office.
This lecture is in recognition of the 1st Reconnaissance Squadron, U.S. Military’s oldest flying unit, 1913-2013.