Colonel Vaughn E. Denning, USAF (ret.)
served 32 years and “he flew 48 different types of airplanes, flew noted VIPs and historical figures, participated in
atomic bomb tests, spent ten years at the Pentagon at Air Force Headquarters and a top agency of the Department of Defense,
and ended his military career managing exciting space activities.
While in the service, Vaughn obtained a Mechanical Engineering Degree from the University of Idaho and an MBA from
George Washington University. He is also a graduate of the Test Pilot School, the Industrial College of the Armed Forces,
the Command and Staff College, and is the recipient of three Legions of Merit.” Colonel Vaughn E.
Denning is the author of A Pilot First, Last and Always.
According to the book description of
A Pilot First, Last and Always, “A 32-year career during some of the most dramatic changes
ever to the U.S. military from 1942—1974 Follow a professional flying officer through sweeping military change, from
World War II into the Cold War. Witness first hand innovations for military aircraft, the evolution of nuclear weapons, and
the birth of the space program. Sit in the pilot’s seat during test flights, flame-outs, engine fires and jungle rescues.
Vaughn E. Denning has flown more than
48 different types of airplanes, from a small single-engine wood and fabric bi-plane to a Mach 2 jet fighter made of exotic
metals and fabrics. Col. Denning served and transported such civilian and military leaders as Charles Lindbergh and General
Jimmy Doolittle in aircraft including the former presidential flagship Sacred Cow. Discover what it is like to work with military
and elected leaders in our nation’s capital.
Denning spent 10 years in the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the Air Force and a top agency of the Department of Defense.
While there, he worked with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Atomic Energy Commission, planned and conducted nuclear weapons
tests, developed space satellites and boosters, participated in launches, and created new space capabilities.
After a three-decade military career,
Col. Denning spent 17 years in the evolving space program building and launching satellites. Since 1997, he has been a volunteer
docent at the Palm Springs Air Museum, which specializes in educating young people about military aircraft in World War II.
A video interview with Col. Denning in cooperation with the Veterans History Project will be included in the National Registry
at the Library of Congress.”