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Col (USAF, Ret) ARTHUR E. AENCHBACHER (1920 - 2017)

Aenchbacher, Arthur E. “Gene” Colonel, USAF (Ret), Gene passed away Friday, February 24, 2017. Gene was born September 2, 1920, in Atlanta, GA. While attending Georgia Tech in 1940, he joined the Army Air Corps as an Aviation Cadet. He received his pilot’s wings in December 1941. In June 1942, he was part of the initial cadre of B-17 bombers to deploy to England and Africa. One of his most memorable experiences of WW II was flying General Eisenhower to Gibraltar under difficult circumstances for which Ike wrote him a congratulatory letter that Gene treasured and gave to the Eisenhower Presidential Library in 2014. After returning to the US, he was stationed at Pratt Army Air Field as part of the first unit to train future B-29 crews. While at Pratt, he met and married the former Lida Elizabeth (Betty) Fincham on December 29, 1945. After completing his degree at UNC, Gene continued his military career. He had many distinguished assignments including working for General Curtis LeMay at SAC HQ, being assigned to the NATO HQ in Oslo, Norway, briefing President Kennedy on nuclear war plans while working with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, commanding a C-130 Wing during the Vietnam War and his final assignment as the Director of Airlift at TAC HQ. Retiring in 1970, his distinguished Air Force career spanned three wars. Memorials may be made to the Pratt B-29 Museum, Inc., PO Box 29, Pratt, KS 67124 or Doc’s Friends, Inc., PO Box 771089, Wichita, KS 67277.