Caribou Association

Candidate Biography


Peter A. Bird

Peter BirdI was born in Boston and brought up in Massachusetts and Vermont, so I guess that makes me a hard-core New Englander! My wife Patricia was also born in Boston, but my son is a genuine Texan, having been born in the USAF hospital at Webb AFB in Big Spring. My father’s profession as a physician kept us moving around a lot when I was very young, including a two-year tour in Denver while he was in the Army. We finally settled down in Lexington, Massachusetts (the Birthplace of American Liberty), where I spent most of my pre-college school years. After graduation from Lexington High School, I was accepted at and graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, majoring in Electrical Engineering.
After working for a year to pay off some of my college debts, I volunteered for the Air Force. I became a 90-day wonder in the summer of 1967 at the Medina Annex of Lackland AFB and then took my place in UPT class 69C at Webb AFB in Big Spring, Texas. After graduation from UPT, my first assignment was the C-141A at McGuire AFB, NJ, where I was assigned to the 30th MAS. All I did was fly at every opportunity and I volunteered for anything that would get me in a cockpit. I managed to make Aircraft Commander while I was still a First Balloon. I celebrated my promotion to Captain on NOPAC-1, en route from Elemendorf to Yokota in the middle of the night.

Palace Cobra finally caught up with me and I was assigned to the C-7A with the 535th at Cam Ranh Bay. I took the usual route through Dyess and the 4449th CCTS, Fairchild aircrew survival, and Clark jungle survival, arriving at Cam Ranh in early 1971. Once again, all I wanted to do was fly and I hated working in the office. I quickly moved from Copilot to Aircraft Commander, to Instructor Pilot, and finally to Flight Examiner.

As my Vietnam tour came to an end, my service commitment to the Air Force also was fulfilled, so I was separated at port on my return. It took a year, but I was hired as a pilot by Eastern Airlines. I was based in Boston and flew the Boeing 727 in all its variants for the next decade. It was during this time that I found the political climate in Massachusetts to be a whole lot too left-leaning and I moved for the last time to New Hampshire. My flying career came to an end when I had a heart attack at a very unseemly and early age. I medically retired from EAL in 1984 and went back to work for a living. Initially I designed computer hardware, but as the microprocessor took over, I transitioned to software design. I retired completely in 2006.

I heard about the Caribou Association from one of my Vietnam roommates and best friends. I sent a letter to Nick Evanish with a check for $10 and have been a member ever since. I set up the original web site as part of my own site and then with the help of the Board, managed to get the Association to sponsor (and pay for) our own web address.
I have maintained the web site since 1999 and I have served on the Board as Vice President since 2001 with one interruption of about six months. I have done a newsletter and a reunion flyer on my own and worked with both Dave Hutchens and Pat Hanavan on others. I have worked with Pat Hanavan to greatly improve the Roster database.

My objective as President would be to further the goals of fraternity and fellowship, increase membership, continue to improve communication, and to seek out additional locations for our memorial plaque. The 2008 reunion planning will move to the front burner and plans will be started for 2009. I look forward to working with the most productive Board we have had to date.

13 Jan 2009 06:02 PM

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