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
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
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
"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
"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.