Fred Buckingham, Brig. Gen. (Ret.), U.S. Air Force
Retired Brig. Gen. Fred Buckingham entered the Air Force in 1964 as a distinguished graduate of the Indiana University Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program. During his career, he commanded a C-130 flying squadron and all three stateside C-130 flying wings. He also was the senior YC-14 operational test pilot responsible for a qualitative evaluation of the YC-14 prototype to perform the tactical airlift mission.
Fred served as theater commander of airlift forces for both Operation Just Cause in Panama and Operation Desert Shield in Saudi Arabia. A command pilot, he has flown more than 6,000 hours, including 680 combat hours in South Vietnam.
The numerous awards Fred received include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters and Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters.
He retired from the Air Force in 1994, and he and his wife, Diane, moved to Punta Gorda. Fred served on the board of directors of the Florida International Air Show for 17 years and held the position of chairman for 14 years. He also served on the board of directors of the International Council of Air Shows. He is a past director of the national board of advisors to the Museum of Aviation Foundation in Warner Robins, Georgia. Fred is the fourth inductee to the Military Heritage Museum’s “Wall of Warriors.”