Major general to speak at WACO

By Melody Vallieu

February 28, 2014

TROY — As part of the Aviation Lecture Series, sponsored in part by a grant from DP&L, retired USAF Major General Ed Mechenbier will speak at 7 p.m. March 12 at the WACO Air Museum.

As a Vietnam POW for nearly six years, Gen. Mechenbier will share his experiences verbally and with a Power Point presentation.

Major General (Ret) Edward J. Mechenbier entered the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1960 and attended pilot training after graduating. While flying the F-4C, in June 1967, he was shot down on his 113th combat mission, his 80th over North Vietnam and was a Prisoner of War for nearly six years.

On his return to the U.S., he was awarded the Silver Star with the first Oak Leaf Cluster for his resistance to demands by the North Vietnamese for information, confessions and propaganda materiel. He received the Bronze Star medal with “V” device for his efforts to conduct himself strictly in accordance with the Code of Conduct while POW.

On June 30, 1999, he was promoted to Major General and retired in that grade in June 2004. He is a command pilot with more than 3,600 flying hours. Through the more than 40 years of aviation service, General Mechenbier flew the F-4C/D, the F-100, A-7 and C-141C plus more than twenty other aircraft for familiarization including the F-16, F-15, F/A-18 and the Soviet MiG-29.

His other military decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross with cluster, the Purple Heart with cluster, the Air Medal with eight clusters, and the Air Force Commendation Medal.

For more than 30 years he has been the television host for several major airshows throughout the country, including the United States Air and Trade Show held in Dayton and the Miramar Air Show in San Diego.

There is no charge for the event. Donations will be accepted to benefit WACO Historical Society.

The WACO Air Museum is located at 1865 S. County Road 25-A, Troy. For more information, visit www.wacoairmuseum.org or call 335-9226.