Heritage Day at Doolittle Hall 2021

Aggressors, Barbarians, Executioners, Flying Tigers, Guts, and Hellcats went to Doolittle Hall this week for their Heritage Day.

The Basics entered Doolittle Hall where they had a short briefing from Ret. Gen Mike Gould, CEO of US Air Force Academy AOG & Foundation.  The Basics were given a brief history of the Academy, the Heritage of the Air Force, and of the 'Long Blue Line' they will soon become a part of.  Members from the Class of '59, the first graduating class, spoke to the Basics about their experience at the Academy, their military careers and answered any questions that the Basics had.  Most of the questions asked were inquiring about their experiences in the Vietnam War and combat.  The history that was given to the Basics was priceless and hopefully it gave the Basics a better understanding of the sacrifices others in "The Long Blue Line" have made for their freedom and way of life. 


    Max Miller '59                                                                        Larry Fortner '59


    Ed Montgomery '59                                                                Don Brooks '59


They were invited to go outside and meet with members of the Class of 1959 who issued their challenge to them and escorted them across the bridge for their first picture as being the newest class to enter the academy.


At the Class Memorial Wall replica (the actual one is inside the Cadet Area), they learned about the ulitmate sacrifice of graduates in combat. Those that were killed in action. The trail has plaques that tell of the Heritage, Honor and Valor of Graduates.  


Kevin Shea, a 1989 graduate who cross commissioned to the Marine Corps and was killed in Irag.  He has a bronze statue on the Heritage Trail honoring his bravery and valor. 

At the bottom of the trail there were members from a variety of classes from the 1960s and 1970s to learn about the Academy’s role in South East Asia at the Southeast Asia Memorial Pavilion. There are plaques on the outside walls of different squadrons listing their accomplishments in during the war in Asia. There are also plaques by Graduating Classes listing those classmates that gave their lives in combat. There is also the United States Air Force Academy Southeast Asia Vietnam Prisoners of War bronze wall plaque listing all the Academy graduate prisoners of war.



Inside there is a large wall map of Asia showing where the conflicts in Asia were and where our military was deployed. There are interactive screens and videos with information on the various conflicts in Asia.


One of the most memorable areas is the Plaza of Heroes where the bronze statue of Capt. Lance P. Sijan is located.  Capt. Sijan was a pilot who lost his aircraft in Vietnam.  Sijan struck the trees and then the granite slope in the darkness. The combination of the explosion, the ejection, and impact with the mountain left him badly injured. He had a compound fracture of his left leg, a skull fracture, and a concussion. His right hand was mangled, with the fingers bent backward. He lay on the mountainside, amid high trees, about three miles northwest of the Ban Loboy Ford. Sijan was able to evade capture for 46 days.  Sijan was captured, but several days later managed to escape, only to be recatured a day later.  Sijan was later moved to "Hanoi Hilton" and soon afterwards died from his injuries and pneumonia.


Basics left with the knowledge of Air Force history, a better understanding of the career they would soon be entering into and what will be expected of them at the Academy and in the military, and the empowerment from graduates that they are welcomed in the Long Blue Line and will be supported throughout their career at USAFA.


To view photos, go to CLASSES > 2025 > BCT-1 > ALL. Set photo order OLDEST to NEWEST. Select your start page. Or click on the link below.

***Photo order must be set OLDEST to NEWEST prior to selecting your start page in order for the link to take you to the correct start page.

Aggressors and Barbarians Heritage Day pgs. 1326-1342   Aggressors and Barbarians

Executioners and Flying Tigers Heritage Day pgs. 1342 (bottom of page-last row)-1358   Executioners and Flying Tigers

Guts and Hellcats Heritage Day pgs. 1358 (top of page, second row)-1371  Guts and Hellcats


To view Squadron Flight photos, go to CLASSES > 2025 > BCT-1. Select your squadron. Set photo order OLDEST to NEWEST. Select your start page. Or click on the link below.

***Note: Squadron flights did not go in order of Alpha-Echo so they are uploaded in the order they were taken.

***Note: Executioners and Flying Tigers did not take their photos in squadron order.  I believe their flights are in the correct squadron folder, but if you do not see your Basic, check the other squadron folder.

Aggressors Flight photos pg. 98   Aggressors

Barbarians Flight photos pg. 116 - Note: Echo Flight was not at Heritage Day.   Barbarians

Executioners Flight photos pg. 108   Executioners

Flying Tigers Flight photos pg. 115-116   Flying Tigers

Guts Flight photos pg. 106-107    Guts

Hellcats Flight photos pg. 86   Hellcats