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Col. Raymond F. Hunter, USAF, Retired

Col. Raymond F. Hunter Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame at the Air ZooCol. Raymond Hunter served five enlisted years in the United States Air Force before being commissioned an officer upon obtaining his B.S. from the University of Pittsburgh and completing Air Force ROTC.

Soon after, Hunter completed pilot training, and flew air-to-air refueling tankers from England. He also became a C-47 instructor pilot & flight examiner, and was selected to fly senior U.S. Army officers on Special Air Missions.

In 1969, Col. Hunter volunteered to serve in Vietnam, where he flew rescue helicopters on Special Operations Missions. Following his return from Vietnam, and while serving as operations officer at Columbus AFB in Mississippi, he achieved Instructor Pilot/Flight Examiner status in helicopters. After other important helicopter and fixed-wing assignments, Hunter assumed command of the 3554th USAF Recruiting Squadron at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Michigan.

He raised the squadron from the lowest ranking in the U.S. to one of the highest. In 1985, following two more key assignments, Col. Hunter was appointed commander of the Air Force ROTC unit at the University of Michigan.

Col. Hunter retired from the USAF in 1988 and became program manager for the Great Lakes & Mid-Atlantic Hazardous Substance Research Center. He is chairman of the Yankee Air Museum, and pilots their B-17 and C-47. His awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Air Medal (5), Vietnam Service Medal, and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm.

Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program