Retired Col. Felix A. “Doc” Blanchard, Heisman Trophy winner during his time at the US Military Academy and fighter squadron commander during the Vietnam War, died April 19 at age 84. Fullback Blanchard was a three-time all-American during the mid-1940s at West Point, where he teamed with halfback Glenn Davis and became known as Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside, respectively, and the Touchdown Twins on an unbeaten Army team. Although drafted into the NFL out of West Point in 1947, Blanchard later chose to remain with the Air Force, where he would fly the F-105 for 84 combat missions over Vietnam. Earlier he made news—and received a commendation—by electing to stay with and land a burning F-100 rather than eject as he was returning to his base in England. Blanchard retired from USAF in 1971. (20th Fighter Wing report by TSgt. Kevin Williams; New York Times report; Associated Press report)
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.