Richard Howard Emmons obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Richard Howard Emmons

November 2, 1936 - July 28, 2017

Obituary


Major Richard H. Emmons, U.S. Air Force Retired passed away July 28, 2017. He was born November 2, 1936 in New York, New York to LG and Agnes (Howard) Emmons. He is a Vietnam Veteran and received numerous awards including the Air Force Commendation Medal. Following his military retirement Major Emmons continued in the U. S. Civil Service as an Air Force Historian. Survivors include his wife, Gloria Calderon Emmons; children, Maureen Chaney (Tony, deceased), Marty Emmons (Inge); step children, Joseph Stegman (Jackie), Eric Stegman and Ryan Tabatabai; grandchildren, Michael Chaney, Anna Marie Chaney, Jenna...

Major Richard H. Emmons, U.S. Air Force Retired passed away July 28, 2017. He was born November 2, 1936 in New York, New York to LG and Agnes (Howard) Emmons. He is a Vietnam Veteran and received numerous awards including the Air Force Commendation Medal. Following his military retirement Major Emmons continued in the U. S. Civil Service as an Air Force Historian. Survivors include his wife, Gloria Calderon Emmons; children, Maureen Chaney (Tony, deceased), Marty Emmons (Inge); step children, Joseph Stegman (Jackie), Eric Stegman and Ryan Tabatabai; grandchildren, Michael Chaney, Anna Marie Chaney, Jenna Stegman, Joseph Stegman, David and Julio Valdez, Karl, Anthony, and Isabella Stegman. Graveside services and interment will be Thursday, August 10, 2017 at 9:30 A.M. at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery with military honors.

Served the Air Force and Air Force History and Museums Program (AFHMP) for 58 years; as active duty
officer assigned to USAF Historical Research Center, worked in CHECO program refining contingency history
reporting and helping spear-head CORONA HARVEST mission documenting airpower ops in Southeast Asia
- CORONA HARVEST liaison for CINCUSAFE, assisted with production of MAJCOM history at height of
Cold War and covered critical operations ongoing in USAFE that helped end the Cold War a decade later;
deployed to Italy in 1976 to conduct interviews and collect documents on earthquake disaster relief effort
- After retiring from active duty, Mr. Emmons returned to AFHMP as civilian historian and served notably with
27th Tactical Fighter Wing, Cannon AFB, NM, where he helped document operations of F-111 Aardvark and its
precision guided ordnance; then as Lt Gen Thomas Sadler's historian at Twenty-First Air Force, McGuire AFB,
NJ, mentored more than a dozen historians and wrote comprehensive history of modern air mobility operations
in support of numerous contingencies including Beirut Barracks bombing in October 1983
- Returned to HQ USAFE as staff historian, updated his special study on USAFE personnel strength and
organization changes first published in 1979 and again in 1984; part of 3-person team that wrote special study on
USAFE's participation in US bombing raid on Qaddafi and his strongholds in Libya in April 1986 in response to
Libya's support of international terrorism, called OPERATION ELDORADO CANYON
- Moved to Air Training Command where his legacy was cemented forever by his work in flight operations, from
flight screening to fighter fundamentals training; wrote the seminal study of modern flight training called
"Specialized Undergraduate Flight Training and the Tanker Transport System" as well as two of the most critical
reference papers ever done in Air Training Command to that time: "Changes in Undergraduate Flight Training,
1939-1990" and "Changes in Pilot Instructor Training, 1943-1990." Mr. Emmons studied flight training systems
in detail and documented requirements, the testing and selection of multiple new aircraft from the T-1A Jayhawk
to the T-6A Texan II, and the retirement of the venerable T-37 Tweet. His studies and many
papers helped senior leadership prepare for the organizational changes and fundamental reshaping of the
command that came in 1993 when Air Training Command became Air Education and Training Command.
- As AETC Deputy Command Historian, Mr. Emmons ensured the deployment and readiness of more than a
hundred historians. His mentorship, critiques, and helpful manner tutored three generations of historians, many
of whom remain the finest at their craft; helped facilitate numerous policy rewrites and regulatory/instructional
changes for the AFHMP over the past 25 years to include helping build curriculum for new historians assigned to
AETC. He served on the AFHMP re-engineering team in the late 1990s. His work at the command has
continued to be of such a high standard that he ably assisted AETC in energizing the moribund T-X project and
helped shape the ongoing discussions of instructor manning, contract training, and assisted AETC/A5/8/9 with
numerous POM projects which were almost all funded in the most recent rounds of budgetary planning.
- His long lasting legacy is seen everywhere throughout the AFHMP: he has trained and mentored dozens of
current and former historians, written and documented thousands of pages of Air Force history, conducted
countless key interviews involving all aspects of Air Force history since 1973.
- Contributed enormously to two encyclopedic command anniversary monographs which were models of their
kind: "A 50-Year History of AETC" (1993 - an AFHMP award winner) and the 60-year update (2002)
- To mark the 50th anniversary of the Air Force, led effort to prepare "A History of Military Aviation in San
Antonio" with sections contributed by historians at Kelly, Brooks, and Lackland AFBs; wrote Randolph section;
published in 1997, reprinted in 2002 and 2010, more than 100,000 copies in circulation today
- All these contributions demonstrate the impact Mr. Emmons had on all of us working today as Air Force history
professionals. Mr. Richard H. Emmon's dedication, tireless drive and generous contributions to the larger good
reflect great credit on himself and the Air Force History and Museum Program.



2 Oct 2015
HQ USAF/HO
1190 Air Force Pentagon
Washington, DC 20330-1190
Richard Emmons
AETC/HO
100 H St East, Ste 1,
JBSA-Randolph TX, 78150-4397
Dear Mr. Emmons,

Congratulations on completion of your 42-years with the Air Force History Program. You deserve special congratulations for serving while in uniform and returning to us as a civilian in 1979. In recognition of your outstanding accomplishments, it is my distinct pleasure to award you the Air Force History and Museums Program's Grant M. Hales Career Contributions Award.

You have exhibited an unmatched level of professionalism and commitment to excellence in all your endeavors. Your experience as an Air Force historian was exceptionally broad, with service at the wing, center, numbered air force, and major command levels, including tours overseas. In addition, you have contributed mightily the intellectual and documentary base of Air Force operations, from tour ground-breaking study of Operation ELDORADO CANYON, to your seminal study on the development of Specialized Undergraduate Flight Training. At AETC, you mentored three generations of Air Force historians who now have become leaders throughout our program, and you have ensure the flawless deployment of more than 100 historians to support combat and contingency operations throughout the world. You background papers, briefings, short studies and continuous commitment to excellence have had an impact on the Air Force's future commitments, from T-X to contract training. You are truly one of the legends of our program and will be sorely missed.


Sincerely,
WALTER A. GRUDZINSKAS
Director, Air Force History and Museums Program