Col. Richard H. Graham
A veteran of fifteen years of assignments within the SR-71 community, Col. Richard H. Graham is uniquely qualified to tell the Blackbird story. Entering the SR-71 strategic reconnaissance program in 1974, and after several years as a crewmember, he was further selected to become an instructor pilot, and in 1978 was selected as the Chief, Standardization/Evaluation Division. In 1980 he was the SR-71 Squadron Commander of the 1st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron. Following four years in the Pentagon, Col. Graham was selected to be the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing Commander at Beale AFB in June 1987.
Prior to entering the SR-71 program he flew 210 combat missions in Vietnam in the F-4C/D Phantom as well as the Wild Weasel mission. A command pilot with more than 4,600 military flying hours, his military decorations include three Legion of Merit awards, four Distinguished Flying Cross medals, and 19 Air Medals. After serving 25 years in the Air Force, he flew for American Airlines for 13 years, amassing over 8,000 flying hours. In addition, he is an accomplished author, writing five books on the incredible SR-71.