Navigator History Available on Thumb Drive

In an effort to preserve the comprehensive history of the AF Navigators’, Ron Barrett (AFNOA and Connally Historian) has compiled a large amount of information and put it on a thumb drive.  IF YOU WANT A READ ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE NAVIGATOR and NAVIGATION CAREER FIELD, you can purchase the thumb drive by contacting Ronald Barrett at (305) 797-0745.

Some of the material contained the drive is:

1. All 35 years of the “Navigator” Publication

2. Various training publications publications

3. Some information of the Nav schools

4. Dr Ahead Newsletters

Vietnam Facts

9,087,000 (Million) military personnel served on active duty during the official Vietnam era from  August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975. 
2,709,918 Americans served in uniform in Vietnam. 
Veterans represented 9.7% of their generation. 
240 men were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War

1.  The first man to die in Vietnam was James Davis, in 1958. He was with the 509th Radio Research Station. Davis Station in Saigon was named for him.

2.  58,148 were killed in Vietnam

3.  75,000 were severely disabled

4.   23,214 were 100% disabled

5.   5,283 lost limbs

6.  1,081 sustained multiple amputations

7.  Of those killed, 61% were younger than 21

8.  11,465 of those killed were younger than 20 years old

9.  Of those killed, 17,539 were married

10.  Average age of men killed: 23.1 years

11.  Five men killed in Vietnam were only 16 years old

12. The oldest man killed was 62 years old

13. As of January 15, 2004, there are 1,875 Americans still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War

14. 97% of Vietnam Veterans were honorably discharged

15. 91% of Vietnam Veterans say they are glad they served

16. 74% say they would serve again, even knowing the outcome

17. Vietnam veterans have a lower unemployment rate than the same non-vet age groups

18. Vietnam veterans’ personal income exceeds that of our non-veteran age group by more than 18 percent

19. 87% of Americans hold Vietnam Veterans in high esteem

20. There is no difference in drug usage between Vietnam Veterans and non-Vietnam veterans of the same age group (Source: Veterans Administration Study)

21. Vietnam Veterans are less likely to be in prison – only one-half of one percent of Vietnam Veterans have been jailed for crimes

22. 85% of Vietnam Veterans made successful transitions to civilian life

23. Interesting Census Stats and “Been There” Wanabees:  
a.   1,713,823 of those who served in Vietnam were still alive as of August, 1995 (census figures). 
b.   During that same Census count, the number of Americans falsely claiming to have served in-country was: 9,492,958.

24.  As of the current Census taken during August, 2000, the surviving U.S. Vietnam Veteran population estimate is: 1,002,511. This is hard to believe, losing nearly 711,000 between ’95 and ’00. That’s 390 per day.

25. During this Census count, the number of Americans falsely claiming to have served in-country is: 13,853,027. By this census, FOUR OUT OF FIVE WHO CLAIM TO BE Vietnam vets are not.

25. The Department of Defense Vietnam War Service Index officially provided by The War Library originally reported with errors that 2,709,918 U.S.military personnel as having served in-country. Corrections and confirmations to this errored index resulted in the addition of 358 U.S. military personnel confirmed to have served in Vietnam but not originally listed by the Department of Defense. (All names are currently on file and accessible 24/7/365).

Navigator on Air Force One!

James Buzzelli, 66; was navigator of Air Force One
By Washington Post  | June 13, 2006

WASHINGTON — James Anthony “Buzz” Buzzelli, a retired Air Force colonel who spent part of his military career as head navigator aboard Air Force One, died of cardiac arrest June 2 at a hospital in Charleston, S.C. The former Alexandria, Va., resident had lived on Kiawah Island, S.C., since the early 1990s. He was 66.

Colonel Buzzelli, a Vietnam War veteran, served as a navigator with the 89th Squadron at Andrews Air Force Base in the 1970s and 1980s. He was a member of the Air Force One flight crew for President Carter and during President Reagan’s first term.
The day after Christmas in 1983, Reagan promoted Colonel Buzzelli to full colonel during an early-morning ceremony aboard Air Force One. Afterward, the crew flew Reagan to Palm Springs, Calif., where he traditionally celebrated the new year.

At the time, the Air Force One fleet consisted of two Boeing 707s. When Colonel Buzzelli left the 89th Squadron in 1984, he became deputy director of the White House Military Office and oversaw the acquisition of the two specially modified Boeing 747 jetliners that have been used for presidential transport since 1990. He was also active in the design of the aircraft communications system.

A native of Blairsville, Pa., Colonel Buzzelli graduated from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, where he attended on a football scholarship. He received a master’s in business administration from Central Michigan University.

He joined the Air Force in the early 1960s. During the Vietnam War, he served mostly as a navigator on C-141 cargo planes . At the end of the war, he served as a weapons officer on an F-111 fighter-bomber. Colonel Buzzelli retired from active military duty in 1991.

Nav/observer Locator Numbers

James Connally Harlingen & Mather AFB Class Locator Stats:

IF want to help us locate people contact Jim Faulkner–

Harlingen (52-02 to 62-22). Connally (52-02 to 66-18), Mather (66-19 to 90-22)

As of   01 December 2020:

  • Connally Located…………. 4159
  • Harlingen Located…………3111
  • People Deceased:…………. 5368 (Connally/Harlingen/Mather)
  • TO LOCATE: ……………………….  6178
  • TOTAL NAMES IN FILES: ….  18816

Accounted/Located by CY see below–

In CY 2011 accounted for 1500 people

In CY 2012 accounted for 1055 people

In CY 2013 accounted for 922 people.

In CY 2014 accounted for 733 people

In CY 2015 accounted for 508 people

In CY 2016 accounted for 602 people

In CY 2017 accounted for 401 people

In CY 2018 accounted for 402 people.

In CY 2019 accounted for 245 people.

In CY 2020 accounted for 356 as of Dec 01, 2020.

Nav Student Facts (Brothers)

Brothers who attended James Connally & Harlingen for Navigator Training:
Harlingen will be indicated with letters (HA) following class number.  James Connally is indicated with letters (JC). (Number in ( –) is the class number for the person.

  • Bablo, Adelbert G. (61-04HA) & Charles A. (64-03JC-deceased)
  • Becker, Roger (53-13JC) & Wendell (53-16JC-deceased)
  • Bell, Jerald R. (62-19JC) & Jack D. (65-11JC)
  • Brown, Lloyd “Bill” (59-19JC) & Robert D. (61-17JC-deceased)
  • Buchholz, William “Bill” (56-14JC) & Francis “Frank (60-18JC)
  • Burchard, John C (60-13HA) & Donald C. (63-19JC)
  • Byrd, Marvin V. (65-04JC) & Ronald G. (66-02JC)
  • Clemons, Larry C. (61-09HA) & James O. (61-11HA)
  • Cohen, Edward D. (56-20HA) & Robert S, (56-20HA)
  • Crook, Gordon R. (64-01JC) & Kenneth L. (66-11JC)
  • Day, David Quimby (58-05HA) & John R (58-02HA) [Twins]
  • Edwards, Paul W. (62-18JC) & John P. “Preston” (63-13JC)
  • Fox, Robert “Bob” (59-14/16-deceased)  & Raymond (64-09)
  • Lutkenhouse, Joel J. (61-20-HA) & John P. (64-14JC)
  • Manns, Ralph E., Jr. (57-01HA) & Robert A. (59-17JC)
  • Murtha, Eugene A (58-02HA-deceased) & Thomas A (58-02HA) [Twins]
  • Metzger, Frank L. (60-19HA) & Langford C. (64-13JC-deceased)
  • Nobert, Keith (63-02JC) & Craig (65-16JC-deceased)
  • Nupen, Curtis (62-16JC) & Larry (65-14JC)
  • Orszula, Swietobor J.”Borus” (55-04HA) & Bozydar H. (56-00HA-deceased)
  • Riggers, Milton H. (60-08HA-deceased) & Wilton E. (61-08HA-deceased) [Twins]
  • Sacre, Gerald F.-Jerry (62-14HA) & Ronald C. (65-12JC-deceased)
  • Singer, Ronald M. (61-10JC) & Stuart (64-18JC)
  • Trojanowski, James-Jim (64-15JC) & John (64-15JC) [Twins]


-BYRD— Marvin “Vic” (class 65-04) & Ronald (66-02) at Wright Patterson OH

OTHER Navigator INFO—

28 February 1968 
USAF B-52F Stratofortress 57‑0173 
7 BW Crashed off Matagorda Island, TX. 
 Details unknown except  
Four Connally Nav’s were killed when the aircraft 
impacted the water.  Names & (class number) follow:
Capt. Charles W. Roberts (59-15), 
Capt. Thomas D. Childs (64-18),  Capt. John T. Pantilla (65-16) & Lt. Michael L. Carroll


FIRST AND LAST CLASSES– info from Bruce Ashcraft (AETC/HO) Randolph AFB, TX February 24, 2006.  

UNT-Undergraduate Navigator Training

JUNT– Joint Undergraduate Navigator Training (with Navy at Pensacola)

Last UNT Class at Harlingen was 62-22

Last UNT Class at James Connally was 66-18

First modern day UNT class at Mather was 66-19

Last UNT class at Mather was 93-06

First UNT class at Randolph was 93-07

Last Class at Randolph was in Fall of 2012– number unknown

First JUNT (CSO) class at Pensacola FL in 2012–number unknown