Richard Jolly Hudlow
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Richard Jolly Hudlow
  • August 20, 1925 - November 26, 2017
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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USAF (Ret) COL RICHARD J HUDLOW, B-52 PILOT, OKLAHOMA NATIVE, LOCAL AIRCAFT
RESTORER AND AUTHOR DIES

Whether it was USAF B-52 pilot in command during Strategic Air Command's Cold War defense
of the USA, Director of International Sales at Rockwell Aircraft Co, Commander Division in
Oklahoma City, the leader of a Oklahoma Douglas A26 aircraft restoration in association with
the Commemorative Air Force (CAF), and finally author of his own book," Shamrock 22: An
Aviator's Story", Richard J. Hudlow did it all.

He died in Oklahoma City Sunday, Nov 26, after a short illness. He was 92.

Born in McAlester, OK, Hudlow's early years were spent on an airfield in Tulsa as the son of
Edward W. Hudlow, who was VP / General Manager of Spartan Aircraft Co. By four he had
time in the cockpit of a Ford Tri Motor, and by 10 he had experienced aerial aerobatics in a
Staggerwing with legendary pilot Eddie Ross among others who visited the Spartan factory.

As a youth, he followed his father to numerous locations around the US. Edward Hudlow was
one of the first Civil Aviation Board flight examiners in the US and later became chief of the
General Aviation Division of the CAA (now the FAA) based in Washington DC. In his obituary, in
the Washington Post in 1955, it said, "Fascination and aptitude for flying and aircraft were the
guideway of Mr. Hudlow's life." He was posthumously honored by the State of Oklahoma and is
inducted in the State's Aviation Hall of Fame.

Richard Hudlow enjoyed the same passion for flying and in his lifetime accumulated 13,000
hours of flying time, 7000 hours in Boeing B-52s alone . Whether it be C-47s in Europe after
WWII and in the beginning of the Berlin airlift, Boeing B-52s in SAC's Cold War defense
mission, the fleet of Rockwell Turbo Commanders, an experimental Rockwell Thrush
Agricultural aircraft certification in Poland or a CAF PT-19 open cockpit trainer, Hudlow enjoyed
flying them all and many more.

He also served in the Pentagon, did a tour in Vietnam as SAC Advanced Operations Chief and
later Vice Commander, 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB Shreveport, LA. He was particularly
honored by his contemporaries in the Air Force for his superior abilities in aerial refueling which
became essential for SAC's defensive missions in the arctic circle. It was then a new and still
very precise flying maneuver.

Col Hudlow retired from the USAF in 1972 and moved to Oklahoma City to work as Director of
International Sales Rockwell Aircraft, Commander Division located at Wiley Post Airport. The
company during this time sold many aircraft into Australia, Europe, Africa, Japan and Middle
East.

He then retired again, set up his own business, AVIAR Inc. to consult worldwide and do direct
support for various clients around the world.

He joined the OKC wing of the CAF and led a group of volunteers in restoring a Douglas A26
Invader bomber from the Korea and Vietnam era. The non-flyable aircraft was disassembled
and trucked to Oklahoma City from Pine Bluff, Arkansas in 1999. It was at Wiley Post Airport
until 2009 when the group moved it to Guthrie/Edmond Municipal Airport in March 2009. Two
months ago it was taxied out on to the runway with both engines running. It should be flying
soon.

Hudlow, then, longed to tell his story and that eventually became his book, Shamrock 22 'An
Aviator's Story' published by AuthorHouse and available on Amazon and in Barnes & Noble
bookstores.

In his book, Col. Hudlow describes his responsibility as pilot in command of a B-52 this way,
"During our crew days we were on the highest professional level. Responsibility was continuous
and heavy. Four 1.2 mega ton nuclear weapons, a crew of 5 other professionals, 6 wives and 17
children plus a fine Boeing airplane, holding nearly 35,000 gallons of jet fuel, all involved in the
defense of our country combine to give a man inspiration to do things right, and well. It was
serious business. Even so there were times of hilarity and humor, for which we are grateful."

Col. Hudlow will be buried with honors at Arlington National Cemetery. He is survived by his
wife, Louise, two daughters, two grandsons and a great- grand daughter