HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — The Hill Aerospace Museum at Hill AFB hosts a ‘Plane Talk’ series featuring speakers related to the heritage of Hill AFB, the U.S. Air Force, other military branches, and many other subjects related to aerospace and the defense industry. Plane Talk takes place on Saturdays at 1 p.m. in the newly renovated museum auditorium. Everyone is invited and admission is FREE!
Oct. 14, 1 p.m.
Retired USAF — F4 Navigator
Bob Hanrahan is a former Air Force captain, a rated navigator/bombardier, and an F-4 weapon systems officer from the Vietnam War era. He flew over 100 missions during Vietnam in the back seat of the all-weather F-4 Phantom II. Mr. Hanrahan will share his story, “Combat: A Fightergator’s Perspective,” on what it was like to fly combat in the F-4 Phantom II.
Oct. 21, 1 p.m.
Retired USAF – SR-71 Pilot
Gil Bertelson was born in Provo, Utah, and grew up in Salt Lake City. He received an undergraduate degree from the University of Utah and a Master’s degree from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. He attended Officer Training School in 1969 and then graduated from Undergraduate Pilot Training in 1970. He served as a T-37 instructor pilot, student check pilot, and wing flight examiner.
Gil then had four back-to-back assignments in the F-111. He served as aircraft commander, instructor pilot, and wing standardization pilot.
In 1978, he was assigned to the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing to begin training as an SR-71 pilot. During this time, he flew highly classified and sensitive missions throughout the world from 9th SRW detachments located at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, and RAF Mildenhall Air Base in the United Kingdom. In addition to serving as pilot in the SR-71, he was also a T-38 instructor pilot and wing flight examiner.
After five years in the SR-71, Bertelson was assigned to the staff of the Commander of Pacific Forces where he served as chief of the Joint Reconnaissance Center at Camp H.M. Smith, Honolulu, Hawaii. He was then assigned as director of reconnaissance for 15th Air Force at March AFB, California. His final assignment was commander of the Air Force ROTC detachment at Brigham Young University.
He retired from the Air Force in April 1993 and accepted a position at BYU as director of the Executive MBA Program. He retired from BYU in February 2007.
Oct. 28, 1 p.m.
Retired USAF – Minuteman Missiles
Barry Axelron worked on Minuteman missiles for the U.S. Air Force throughout his career. He graduated from the University of Connecticut, ROTC, in 1972. From 1972 to 1976 he worked as a Strategic Air Command Minuteman Missile crew member at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana. In 1976, he was an Olympic arena team member. From 1976 to 1980, he moved to Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota as an airborne missile crew member, Airborne Launch Control System. From 1980 to 1983, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, he served with the SAC Airborne Command, Airborne Launch Control System. Between the years of 1983 and 1985, still at Offutt Air Force Base, Axelron served in the SAC headquarters as a code controller. In1985, he moved to Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota and worked in a missile wing Staff position and as the strategic missions squadron officer. Then, in 1988, he moved as the air division chief of weapons. Barry moved to Hill AFB in 1990 and worked with as the 388th Air Base operability officer. He retired from the Air Force in 1992 and continued his career with the Utah Department of Transportation from 1993 to 2016.