Chuck DeBellevue, the Last American ACE, Receives AFA’s Citation Award

March 6, 2023

AURORA, Colo., March 6, 2023—The leading ACE of the Vietnam War, retired Col. Charles “Chuck” DeBellevue, was presented with AFA’s Citation Award at the AFA Warfare Symposium. The accolade coincides with the 50th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War.

DeBellevue served 30 years in the Air Force, most famously in Vietnam where he scored six air-to-air victories in 1972. The feat makes him the last Active-duty American ACE and began a life-long effort to inspire, lead, and represent Airmen across the U.S. Since his retirement, DeBellevue has remained an active member of AFA’s Central Oklahoma Gerrity Chapter and has filled a variety of leadership roles at the Association, where he is currently the Oklahoma State Vice President.

Over the years, DeBellevue has become a respected voice across the nation for Vietnam veterans and Active-duty Airmen alike. He serves as the Chairman of the Dale Graham Foundation, a private foundation dedicated to assisting veterans secure their earned benefits. DeBellevue also is a prominent advocate for airpower and the posterity of the Air Force. He has also advocated for airpower and the Air Force by meeting with ROTC cadets, pilot training classes, veteran groups, and professional military organizations to share his unique perspective and historical contexts.

DeBellevue’s accomplishments and contributions were celebrated by a room full of dignitaries including CMSAF JoAnne Bass and retired Gen. Mike Dugan, the 13th Air Force Chief of Staff and a fellow Vietnam veteran. After an introduction by AFA Board Chair Bernie Skoch, the award was presented by Cliff Klein, the AFA Colorado State and Mile High Chapter President.

“Chuck, a 2015 Congressional Gold medal recipient, is and remains a living legend, an advocate for airpower, a patriot, a model citizen, and an AFA Life Member,” said Klein. “He reflects great credit upon AFA, the U.S. Air Force, and all who believe in freedom through air dominance. He richly deserves this recognition from the Air & Space Forces Association during this 50th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam conflict.”