AFA Remembers Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Paul Airey
Arlington, VA – The Air Force Association (AFA) today mourns the passing of the first Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Paul Airey.
Chief Airey is quoted on the wall of the nation’s Air Force Memorial: "When I think of the Enlisted Force, I see Dedication, Determination, Loyalty and Valor."
Those attributes also described Chief Airey, and are a fitting tribute to his long record of service to the Air Force.
AFA expresses our deepest condolences to his family, and joins the Air Force in honoring Chief Airey’s life and career.
Chief Airey served on a B-24 in World War II and became a prisoner of war in Germany when that aircraft was shot down in July 1944 on a mission over Austria. He was liberated 10 months later. Yet he reenlisted and went on to serve with distinction.
He was named the first Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, out of just 26 considered and three finalists from a field of nearly 6,000 Chief Master Sergeants on duty in 1966. He went on to create the precedents for this key position within the Air Force.
He retired in 1970 and served as an AFA Chapter President and as a member of the Air Force Memorial Foundation in an active retirement. AFA is proud to be associated with his memory.
Chief Airey’s complete official Air Force bio is available at http://www.af.mil/history/person.asp?dec=&pid=123006506.
AFA is a 501(C)(3), nonprofit organization promoting public understanding of aerospace power and the pivotal role it plays in the security of the nation. AFA has more than 200 chapters nationally and internationally representing 125,000 members. Visit AFA at http://www.afa.org.
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