Airplanes are creations of beauty and magic — their trim, aerodynamic lines, the songs sung by their engines, their faithful response to the control inputs of their masters. These all conspire to make them living things. Every pilot has his own unique perception of what is the perfect airplane, and that's the one he wants to fly. If he is assigned to some other craft, he will report for duty like the professional he is; but his aim is to go to his first love. The maneuvers he employs to achieve that goal can be as intricate as those he performs in the air. If all goes well, if Lady Luck smiles upon him, and if the personnel system doesn't screw him, he will find his way to her and live happily ever after. If he has an ounce of poetry in his soul, he will write songs about her which praise her to the highest heavens. If he is lucky, and if he has raised them right, his sons and daughters will follow his path into the skies.
The planes we flew were not always in war. However, those which never fired a shot in anger, were few. The F-89, F-94, B-36, B-58, and C-133, are some examples of airplanes which never spilled the enemy's blood on the battlefield. Nevertheless, they did keep the peace. The numbers and technology of our airplanes, and the skill of their pilots and crews intimidated the enemy into submission. That is how we won the Cold War.
Dick Jonas was born and raised in the Suwannee River valley of northern Florida.
He served four years as an infantryman in the Georgia Army National Guard while attending Valdosta State College. Upon graduation in 1965 he entered the Air Force, receiving his commission through Officer Training School. In 22 years service he flew 3,000 jet fighter hours in the F-4 and F-16. During 125 missions in Vietnam he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters and the Air Medal with 12 clusters.
After retirement from the Air Force, in 1986, he became an Aerospace Science Instructor in the Air Force Junior ROTC program.
During 1991 and 92, in 325 performances he played the leading role in Guv: The Musical, a stage production of the Mill Avenue Theater in Tempe, Arizona.
Dick retired from the teaching profession after 15 years of service, in June 2004. He is now a fulltime entertainer and music producer. His aim is to preserve and perpetuate the legacy of America’s warrior musicians —
The songs we sang about the planes we flew and the people we knew in the wars we fought.
He is known as "America's Foremost Military Aviation Song Writer and Balladeer." He has produced nineteen albums of his kind of music, and published two books — RBAAB: The Red-Blooded, All-American Boy and PTF: Passing the Flame. The two books contain lyrics and war stories of the songs on his CDs.
Dick is an actor, a writer, a guitar-player, a singer, and a businessman. He also flies. He and his wife, Mary, reside in Chino Valley, just north of Prescott, Arizona.