SR71 Blackbird - Autographed and Signed by Al Joerz
Eldon W. "Al" Joerz';s distinguished career as a combat fighter pilot, world speed record holder, and exceptional military leader began in the small town of Hazen, North Dakota. After completing pilot training at Laughlin AFB, Texas, and checking out in the F-105D Thunderchief at the 563 Tactical Fighter Squadron at McConnell AFB, Kansas, Joerz was assigned to the 354th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, in 1968. Joerz flew 158 combat missions over North Vietnam and Laos logging over 450 combat hours in the Thunderchief. After serving as a T-38 Talon instructor pilot at Laredo Air Force Base, Texas, Joerz was selected to fly the SR-71 Blackbird. While in the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Beale AFB in California, Joerz routinely flew faster than three times the speed of sound on classified reconnaissance missions around the globe. On July 28, 1976, Joerz became the fastest man to pilot an air-breathing aircraft setting the world absolute speed record of 2,193.167 miles per hour over a 15/25 kilometer straight course. Joerz retired as a Major General in 1997 having flown over 4,500 hours in the F-105D, T-38, SR-71, B-52, KC-135, KC-10 and F-15E. He earned three Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, and 13 Air Medals. Photograph is personally signed by Al Joerz. Certificate of Authenticity included.
Dimensions (inches): 16x13x0.5, (Photograph: 8x10)