Died October 22,2013
Brigadier General Robinson Risner is vice commander of the USAF Tactical Fighter Weapons Center, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. General Risner was born in Mammoth Spring, Ark., in 1925, and graduated from Central High School in Tulsa, Okla., in 1942.
He enlisted in the U.S. Amy Air Corps in April 1943 and attended flight training at Williams Field, Ariz., where he was awarded his pilot wings and a commission as second lieutenant in May 1944. He attended transition training and then flew P-38 and P-39 aircraft with the 30th Fighter Squadron in Panama. He was relieved from active duty in August 1946 and became a member of the Oklahoma Air National Guard as an F-51 pilot.
General Risner was recalled to active duty in February 1951 and assigned to the 185th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Will Rogers Field in Oklahoma City, Okla. He received training with the 185th Squadron in RF-80s at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C.
In May 1952 General Risner was assigned to the 336th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 4th Fighter Wing, at Kimpo, Korea. While with the 336th Squadron, he flew more than 100 combat missions in F-86s against Mig-15s over North Korea. He is credited with eight enemy aircraft destroyed and became the 20th jet ace during the Korean War.
General Risner was assigned to the 50th Fighter Bomber Wing at Clovis Air Force Base, N.M., in March 1953 and became operations officer of the 81st Fighter Bomber Squadron. He flew F-86s with the 50th Wing to activate Hahn Air Base, Germany, where he became commander of the 81st Fighter Bomber Squadron in November 1954.
In July 1956 he was transferred to George Air Force Base, Calif., as operations officer of the 413th Fighter Wing. Subsequently he served as commander of the 34th Fighter-Day Squadron, also at George Air Force Base.
During his tour of duty at George Air Force Base, General Risner was selected to fly the Charles A. Lindberg Commemoration Flight from New York to Paris. Flying the F-100, he set a transatlantic speed record, covering the distance in 6 hours and 38 minutes.
From August 1960 to July 1961, he attended the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. He next served on the joint staff of the commander in chief, Pacific, in Hawaii.
In August 1964 General Risner was assigned as commander of the 67th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, where he flew the F-105 Thunderchief. While on temporary duty with the 67th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, he was shot down over North Vietnam in April 1965 and was rescued. General Risner was returned to duty and in September 1965 was shot down again over North Vietnam and captured.
While held prisoner in Hanoi, General Risner served first as the senior ranking officer and later as vice commander of the 4th Allied Prisoner-of-War Wing. He was repatriated in February 1973 and in July 1973 assigned to the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., where he became combat ready in the F-4.
General Risner was transferred to Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., as commander of the 832d Air Division in February 1974, and flew the F-111. He was assigned to his present position Aug. 1, 1975.
In November 1974, General Risner was initiated into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame for his achievements.
He is a command pilot. His military decorations and awards include the Air Force Cross with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal with "V" device and oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with seven oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Purple Heart with three oak leaf clusters, Presidential Unit Citation Emblem, Air Force outstanding Unit Award Ribbon with two combat "V" devices, the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with "V" device.
He was promoted to the grade of brigadier general effective May 8, 1974, with date of rank May 5, 1974.
(Current as of January 1976)