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‘Some gave all, all gave some’: AF Academy pays tribute to ‘Spooky’ crew members

(U.S. Air Force photo/Joshua Armstrong)

Story by Janine Dreger, Sept. 9, 2019

U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. — A monument engraved with the names of 86 Airmen who died in the Vietnam War was unveiled at the Air Force Academy, Sept. 6.

All were AC-47 Spooky crew members killed in action.

“It’s kind of tough to read those names,” said retired Chief Master Sgt. Dale White, a former AC-47 crew member, at the unveiling ceremony.

Along with the names of the Airmen killed in action, “Some gave all, all gave some” is inscribed on the memorial.

“Many of our members either graduated from here [the Academy] or they taught classes,” he said. “We had one pilot who was a football coach and one was an engineering professor. We have lots of connections.”

The 3,000 granite monument was donated by the “Spooky Brotherhood,” a fraternal organization consisting of White and other former AC-47 aircraft crew members.

Colonel Clarence Lukes, the Academy’s vice commandant of cadets, also spoke at the ceremony.

“Believe it or not, this is the first special ops monument that’s been dedicated here on the ground of the Academy,” he said.

Lukes welcomes the audience which included 11 Gold Star family members who lost a relative in military service.

“Today was done right,” he said.

The AC-47 Spooky aircraft was the first fixed-wing gunship used by the Air Force during the Vietnam War. Its initial mission flight took place in 1964.