Tuesday, February 21, 2006

MGen Wilbert D. "Doug" Pearson, USAF

Major General Wilbert D. "Aggie" Pearson, Jr. commanded the F-15 Anti-Satellite Combined Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base. On September 13, 1985, flying an F-15, The Celestial Eagle, he launched the first and only ASAT missile to intercept and destroy an orbiting satellite, a feat that earned him recognition as the world’s first "space ace".
Flying F-4s from August 1972 to August 1973, he logged 364 flight hours during 137 combat missions over Vietnam. In 1978 he was assigned to Nellis Air Force Base as an F-15 operational test pilot. Graduating with U. S. Air Force Test Pilot School Class 82A, he served as an F-4, F-5, T-38, F-15 and F-20 test pilot until 1989. He returned in 2001 as the Commander, Air Force Flight Test Center, where he was later credited with restoring the credibility of the F/A-22 development program and delivering the aircraft successfully into operational test and evaluation. He was the first general officer to fly the F/A-22.
Among many other decorations, General Pearson was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. He received the Air Force Systems Command Primus Award, the 2004 San Fernando Engineer’s Council Chuck Yeager Award for lifetime achievement, and a 2004 Laurel from Aviation Week & Space Technology. He is an Associate Fellow in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and has flown over 4,500 flying hours in more than 50 military aircraft.