Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Frederick Joseph Voorhies Jr 1928-2005

Gen. Irving L. Branch, Fred Voorhies and Val Prahl

Fred Voorhies was born on December Fred 1, 1928 in Lafayette, Louisiana.
He attended Southwestern Training School, Cathedral High School and graduated from the University of Louisiana with a degree in mechanical engineering where his father, Fred Sr. was in the first graduating class.In December 1952, Fred joined the United States Airforce as an aviation cadet, based at Bryan AFB, Texas. He received his wings and commission on March 16, 1953 at Malden AFB, Missouri and went to tactical schools at Shaw AFB, South Carolina and Valdosta AFB, Georgia. In the summer of 1953, he left for Korea and was based at K-14 in Kimpo, South Korea, with the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing. Fred flew reconnaissance missions in an F-84 Thunder Jet with the Polka Dots Squadron. After one year in Korea, he returned to Williams AFB, Arizona and was a Flight Test Maintenance Officer with the 3525th Pilot Training Wing, where he tested the T-26 Turret and the T-33 Shooting Star until he retired in March 1956. He was awarded the Korean Service, National Defense Service and the United Nations Service medals.

In May 1956, Fred went to work for General Dynamics Aircraft Corporation in
Ft. Worth, Texas as an Engineering Test Pilot. He did flight conversion testing on the F-80 Shooting Star at Perrin AFB, Texas, Chase Flights in the F-104 Star Fighter, testing nuclear weapon pod drops from the B-58 Hustler at White Sands Missile Range from the Alamagordo AFB, New Mexico. He also tested the TFX prototype which became the F-111 Aardvark of which he was the Chief Engineer test pilot and was based at Edwards AFB, California for four years. He was also in the 136th Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron of the Texas Air National Guard in Dallas, Texas. He left the Guard on April 12, 1959, with the Rank of Captain.

Fred was a member of the Caterpillar Club for having to bail out of an F-104 Star Fighter and was an Associate Fellow in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.