Not only do these two USAF leaders know one another, but one of our own tireless volunteers, Bill Madden, also knows General Halloran. Bill and the General know each other from their days at California’s fabled antique airfield, Flabob Airport, where you will find housed several famous race plane replicas actually piloted by General Halloran, who, while on active duty, was one of the small group of top aviators privileged to have flown the world’s fastest airplane, the renowned SR-71 “Blackbird,” seen below to the right in the beautiful painting by Kristin Hill, which depiction carries the autograph of General Halloran along with a few of the other fortunate pilots who flew the
(Pilots who flew this SR-71 Blackbird supersonic aircraft had to wear space suits in order to be able to survive in the event of sudden depressurization during an emergency.) The Blackbird, as does the U-2 today, flew at the edge of space. The Kristin Hill Blackbird painting is above on the right.
Major General Patrick Halloran entered the Air Force in 1949 from his home in Minnesota. He received his wings and commission through the Aviation Cadet program in 1950. He spent his first 7 years flying F-84 “Thunderjet” fighters from bases in Georgia, Maine, Oklahoma, England, Alaska, Puerto Rico and Japan. He also flew 100 combat missions in the F-84 over North Korea in 1952. In 1956 he was selected in the first group of pilots to fly the new U-2 high altitude reconnaissance aircraft for the Air Force. This U-2 ship, affectionately tagged the “Dragon Lady” is currently being flown by the FAS out of Beale Air Force Base North of Sacramento, CA.
The General flew from overseas operating locations for over 8 years, accumulating over 1600 hours in that extreme high altitude spy plane. He was then selected for the cadre of the new Mach 3 SR-71 Blackbird aircraft that he flew for almost 8 years and in which he accumulated over 600 hours. 600 hours in a high performance jet such as the Blackbird means that the General covered a staggering number of miles! He was the wing commander when he left that program. He flew missions over Cuba in the U-2 and over Viet Nam in both the U-2 and the SR-71.
His next 8 years were spent in command and staff positions in various headquarters, including 3rd Air Division on Guam, 15th AF in California, and Strategic Air Command in Nebraska. His final assignment was in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in the Pentagon. He retired in 1983 as a Major General, with over 8,000 hours of flying time in the military and 34 years of service.
He has also long been active as a General Aviation pilot and has over 12,000 hours of total flying time. He was inducted into the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame in 2006. He lives in Colorado Springs, where he owns a Lancair experimental aircraft, and is still actively involved in the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). The General is also an active member of the Falcon Flight 11 of the Daedalians in Colorado Springs. The Daedalians are a fraternal order of active duty and former military officer aviators, which began in 1934 and whose charter members were U. S. Military pilots during World War I.