Military News

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Air mobility pioneer honored by Airlift Tanker Association

by Jodi Ames
Air Mobility Command Public Affairs


7/7/2015 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill -- The Airlift Tanker Association honored Col. Earl B. Young during a bust dedication ceremony at the Scott Air Force Base ATA Walk of Fame June 29, 2015.

Young was the first commander of 18th Air Force and the 2014 ATA Hall of Fame inductee.

In 1989 the association established their Hall of Fame, which recognizes individuals and groups who have made lasting contributions to the air mobility mission.  Bronze busts representing the men and women who have been inducted into the ATA Hall of Fame line the walkways of the memorial park.

During the unveiling ceremony, retired Gen. Arthur J. Lichte, former AMC commander and current ATA chairman, highlighted several of Young's accomplishments and his impact on the Air Force and air mobility.

"Today, this event really highlights and shows how much we treasure our legacy and our culture--because today, we're honoring Col. Young," said Lichte.
"He was witness to the birth of our Air Force, and he was witness to the birth of Military Air Transport Service."

He continued, "Not only did he witness the birth of 18th Air Force, quite frankly, he was the father of 18th Air Force because he was the first commander.

"He shaped what it is that we do today in Air Mobility Command, and we are so proud to induct him into the Hall of Fame," Lichte added.

Gen. Darren W. McDew, the current AMC commander, also recognized Young's contributions and thanked Lt. Gen. William Welser III for reaching out to Young and bringing his story back to AMC.

"Every single day there are human beings around the world doing things, and you'll never know their names. I want to thank you right now in a public forum, Lt. Gen. Welser, for helping us know Col. Young's name," McDew said. "If it hadn't been for your due diligence in standing up 18th Air Force the second time and bringing all the heritage with it, we wouldn't be where we are today."

After the unveiling, Young spoke to the crowd and shared stories about fellow ATA Hall of Fame inductees that he personally knew.

"The only reason we're here is because we have been able to provide the support and training necessary for those guys to go out and do their job on a day-to-day basis worldwide," Young said.

Recalling the efforts of previous honorees, Young said, "Those things are a distinct part of the history of the air transport business, and I'm sure glad that there's a bust here and somebody to remind the world that they didn't happen accidentally.  It takes a little work and a little blood and tears for that to happen."

"It has been a great ride for me ... I do appreciate your coming to this ceremony. It's a thrill to be here," Young said to the audience before the dedication concluded.

Young retired from the Air Force in 1962 after 26 years of military service. He flew combat missions during World War II.  Among many other distinctive awards, Young earned the Purple Heart, the Silver Star and the Air Medal.

According to his bust inscription, Young was instrumental in establishing the organization charged with providing airlift support to the nation, and was also responsible for consolidating airlift resources under one organization following the establishment of the Department of Defense in 1947. He named the organization the Military Air Transport Service.  On March 28, 1951, 18th Air Force was established, at which time Young became the first commander.

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