Flagstaff resident David Greschke, a retired United States Air Force fighter pilot and research engineer, was inducted into the “Living Legends of Aviation” (LLofA) at the 11th Annual “Living Legends of Aviation” Awards last year. His Living Legends medallion was presented to him by John Travolta, the Living Legends of Aviation's Ambassador to Aviation.
The “Living Legends of Aviation” are an exclusive group of 100 highly accomplished people of aviation. Among the criteria defining a “Living Legends of Aviation” are: Aviation Entrepreneurs, Industry Leaders, Astronauts, Record Breakers, Innovators, pilots that have become celebrities and celebrities that have become pilots.
George McGovern was a charter member of the “Living Legends of Aviation” organization and was Greschke's sponsoring Legend. A highly decorated B-24 Captain of WWII and a recipient of the “Bob Hoover Freedom of Flight Award,” McGovern also sponsored Greschke in 1963 at the American Legion's “Boys Nation” when McGovern was South Dakota's Senator serving in the U.S. Senate.
Greschke was a US Air Force F-4 and F-15 instructor pilot with 150 missions in Vietnam. He served in the USAF for 22 years, until his retirement from the Air Force in 1992. For the next 20 years he worked for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in Mesa, and Dayton, Ohio. He began as the lead Research Testbed Engineer and later Engineering Manager at the Warfighter Readiness Research Division of AFRL developing advanced distributed mission training technologies for the US Department of Defense, the Air Force, the Ministry of Defence United Kingdom and several other NATO nations. The technologies developed won numerous national and international awards during his tenure.
A native of Huron, S.D., Greschke graduated from Huron High School, Class of 1964, received his BS degree in Electrical Engineering from South Dakota State University and his Masters degree in Public Administration from the University of Northern Colorado. He retired in 2012. He and his wife, Debra, live in Kachina Village.
The Annual “Living Legends of Aviation Awards” are produced by the Kiddie Hawk Air Academy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating children and inspiring them to pursue careers in aviation. The Awards Banquets are held each year in January at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. For more information, go to livinglegendsofaviation.org.