Retired Maj. Gen. Richard C. Catledge, the first commander of the Air Force’s Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team, died Aug. 12 from complications related to pneumonia. He began his 32-year Air Force career in 1942 as an aviation cadet and flew the P-38 during World War II, after which he served in various operational and command positions before taking charge, as a major, of the newly formed Thunderbirds. In subsequent years, Catledge commanded several fighter units around the world, served on the Air Staff and at Tactical Air Command, before his final assignment in 1970 as commander of the Air Force Tactical Air Warfare Center. He retired in 1973.
Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown delivered a keynote address on ‘The State of the Air Force’ at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference, Sept. 19, 2022. Watch the video or read the transcript.