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Gen. Earl T. O’Loughlin, USAF, Retired

Earl T. O'Loughlin


Gen. Earl T. O'Loughlin was born on August 2, 1930 in Bay City, Michigan. A highly decorated officer in the United States Air Force, he has dedicated his career to the service of his country and excellence in flight.

His military services began as an enlisted airman in 1951. He became an aviation cadet, and upon completion of pilot training in 1952 was commissioned a second lieutenant.

As a command pilot with more than 6,500 hours of flight time, O'Loughlin has flown many different aircraft, including B-29s, B-47s, B-52s, KC-135s, and FB-111s. A decorated combat veteran, he flew 29 combat missions and 224 combat hours in B-29s over North Korea, and served two tours of duty in Southeast Asia.

He has extensive experience in reconnaissance, refueling, maintenance systems, and strategic bombing, and in 1974, while commander of the 380th Bombardment Wing at Plattsburgh Air Force Base, New York, his wing won the Fairchild Trophy as the best bombardment wing during Strategic Air Command's annual bombing and navigation competition.

From July 1975 to June 1977 he served in the Pentagon as deputy for maintenance, engineering, and supply in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Systems and Logistics. Following that he served as vice commander of the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, deputy chief of staff for contracting and manufacturing, deputy chief of staff for aircraft maintenance at Air Force Logistics Command headquarters, and commander of the San Antonio Air Logistics Center. In 1982 he was named vice commander of Air Force Logistics Command and became its commander in September 1984. He retired on August 1, 1987 as a four star general.

O'Loughlin's military awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal and many others.

O'Loughlin was enshrined on September 15, 1990 for his lifelong dedication to military aviation.

Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program