Lt. Gen. Michael W. Peterson, Air Force Chief of Warfighting Integration and Chief Information Officer, announced the selection of retired Maj. Gens. Van C. Doubleday and Alvin L. Pachynski, and Chief Master Sgt. Walter D. McLain into the C&I Hall of Fame's Class of 2008.
The C&I Hall of Fame, established in 1999, recognizes the achievements of past military leaders and civil servants for their solutions to problems, innovation and creativity, and application of new technologies. Their achievements paved the way for the communications, command and control, and intelligence capabilities the Air Force now enjoys.
Maj. Gen. Van C. Doubleday
General Doubleday, who retired in June 1980, is known as a behind-the-scenes leader who set the standards for innovation during his 28-year career. This prior enlisted Marine earned his Air Force bars in 1952 and worked as an intercept control officer before entering navigation training and flying with various airborne early warning and control wings. He would later earn the title of master navigator having accumulated 5,000 flying hours and flying 68 combat missions during Vietnam. He also trained as an air traffic control officer and from there he would branch out to serve at all levels of command and staffing in the communications and information fields. He's noted for developing and implementing the plan to move the National Emergency Airborne Command Post from Andrews AFB, Md. to Offutt AFB, Neb., and for re-engineering equipment and procedures for the Washington-Moscow Hot Line during President Carter's term.
He structured and established the first separate J-6 staff (command and control element) within the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and provided the support to fully implement the Global Positioning System within the Air Force. He helped the Royal Air Force develop better low-level training routes and helped to establish the air routes and traffic control that relieved congestion at Heathrow. He established the Retired General Officers Organization in 1976 and after retirement continued a successful career in the private sector. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal, and Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters.
Maj. Gen. Alvin L. Pachynski
General Pachynski served the Air Force from 1923 to 1958 and was a Signal Corps pioneer who "brought much doctrinal and operational experience into [the young] Air Force." He is best remembered for developing and implementing effective communications networks, and as a visionary who was involved in all aspects of communications from commander to planner to trainer, organizer, researcher and leader. He began his career as a project officer who developed underwater sound ranging systems and researched wire recorder techniques. In the 1930s he was assigned to Panama where he established important radio nets including an aircraft warning net. Later he would work on a project to install aircraft to ground radio capability. When World War II started, he took more than 3,000 trainees and 150 officers, mostly inexperienced, and welded them into an aircraft warning signal regiment, an aircraft warning signal battalion, two aircraft warning reporting companies and two aircraft warning construction companies.
From 1942 until VJ-Day he served as a signal officer in the South Pacific where he established wire and radio communications, and aircraft control and warning systems throughout the theater. During the 1950s he served as the commanding officer responsible for the administration and technical supervision of laboratories conducting research and development for all ground communications electronics equipment and systems required by the Air Force.
From there he served until his retirement as director of Communications-Electronics, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. His actual date of retirement was July 31, 1957 but the Air Force requested he stay for another year, to which he agreed. He earned the Legion of Merit, WWII Victory Medal and the Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation, among many others. He died Sept. 23, 1991.
Chief Master Sgt. Walter D. McLain
This "one-of-a-kind" air traffic controller, who served from 1962 to 1991, is credited with six certified aircraft saves -- two in combat situations. During Chief McLain's 21 years as a controller, senior controller, watch supervisor, trainer and chief controller, he earned master certifications in his field, upgraded training programs for the Air Force, received outstanding ratings from inspectors, resolved critical airspace issues and earned numerous awards for his leadership skills. He was the first air traffic controller to serve as an AFCC Division and Command Senior Enlisted Advisor (now Command CMSgt). Prior to his selection as the AFCC SEA, he was the first Air Traffic Controller to serve as Commandant the AFCC NCO PME Center.
While there he directed the development of the first suicide prevention program to be used in NCO PME. His program was credited with saving five lives in the first year and it became the initial prototype for all Air Force NCO PME schools. He upgraded the audiovisual and computer systems and his was the first Command NCO PME Center to provide students with access to computer systems for classroom and research work.
He became a special assistant to Military Airlift Command's (now Air Mobility Command) air traffic services director and played a key role in acquiring GPS for air traffic control support. He also played a key role in the site selection for the joint-use air traffic control facilities at Scott AFB. He received the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (4 oak leaf clusters), the AFCM (4 oak leaf clusters) and the Airman of the Year ribbon, just to name a few.