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Wall of Honor Level: Air and Space Friend
Col William “Hoot” Gibson (Ret) was born April 4th, 1931 in El Paso, Texas. He attended the University of Texas at El Paso and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1953. He retired in 1985 from a distinguished 31-year career in the United States Air Force after honorably serving his country. As a command fighter pilot, he flew the F-84 E/F/G, F-86, F-100 D/F, RF-101C, RF-4/C and F-4 D/E aircraft. With over 4,400 total and 600 combat flight hours, he remained certified as mission-ready until his 50th birthday. Col Gibson also holds the record for the longest single combat sortie over hostile North Vietnam, piloting his RF-4 Phantom aircraft on a mission that lasted 7 ½ hours. He served multiple tours in Vietnam including participation in Operations Pipe Stem and Able Mable flying the RF-101 from 1962 to 1963 and again from 1967 to 1969 flying the RF-4C. Col Gibson’s served in the communities of Tactical Fighter Operations as well as all aspects of Tactical Reconnaissance. He served command tours as the Vice Commander of Incirlik Air Base, Turkey (1975), Commander 40th Tactical Group Aviano Air Base, Italy (1976-1978), Wing Commander 26th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing Zwiebruken Air Base Germany (1978-1980). His decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, Bronze Star, Air Medal with 14 Oak Leaf Clusters, Presidential Unit Citation, Outstanding Unit Award, Vietnam Service Medal and a host of other awards and decorations. After retiring from the USAF, Hoot continued to support and provide technical assistance to the Department of Defense as Program Manager joint weapons systems tests. He served on the Angel Fire, NM Village Council as Mayor Pro-tem and is currently the Commissioner of the Angle Fire Village Planning and Zoning Commission. He has also been active for many years with the Vietnam War Memorial State Park and National Veterans Wellness and Healing Center, conducting retreats since 2009 in Angel Fire, NM for veterans and their families who had been diagnosed with PTSD. Col Gibson (Ret) remains active in the outdoors in Angel Fire, NM where he lives with his lovely wife June of 39 years. He has 6 children, Mark, Julie (dec.), Clay (dec.), Brock, Cheryl and Thad as well as many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
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