Lieutenant Colonel Diehl flew as Command Navigator

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Glen Diehl is shown during his service in Vietnam. CONTRIBUTED
Retired Lieutenant Colonel Glen Diehl is shown during his service in Vietnam. CONTRIBUTED

Veteran of the Week

MADISON – During 21 years, retired Lieutenant Colonel Glen Diehl served from halls of the Pentagon to combat in Vietnam.

In his hometown of Topeka, Kan., Diehl earned a bachelor’s degree at Washburn University. After ROTC, he was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. He completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base (AFB), Texas and navigator training at Harlingen AFB, Texas “where I earned my wings.” he said.

He learned to navigate a KC-97 at Kelly AFB and spent six years as a SAC KC-97 navigator (instructor). Diehl had three two-year tours at Malmstrom AFB, Mont.; Kindley AFB, Bermuda; and Mountain Home AFB, Idaho.

Then, he entered the Air Force AFIT program at Texas A&M University for a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering.

“I received orders for Vietnam. My training for Vietnam was three months at England AFB, La.; and survival training at Fairchild AFB, Wash. and Clark AFB, Philippines,” he said.

Diehl served in Vietnam as an HC-47 Psychological War Navigator and logged 780 hours on 269 sorties. As navigator, he accumulated 3,300-plus hours flying time, including 780 hours combat, and achieved Command Navigator status.

His wife Joan chronicled their lives in “Once Upon a War: The Diary of a Waiting Wife.”

At Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio, he worked as analyst in Foreign Technology Division and studied three Soviet aircraft. He received a master’s degree in engineering administration from Southern Methodist University.

For five years at Wright Patterson, Diehl worked in three System Program Offices and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. His last job there was Program Control Director of 121 Financial Management and Program Control personnel. At the Pentagon, he was Chief of an engineering team.

After retiring, he worked for M&S Computing (now Intergraph Corporation) in Houston, Texas and Huntsville for about 20 years. The Diehls built a house on Rainbow Mountain and in 1993 moved to Edgewater.

His awards include Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Air Medal with 8 OLC, Crew Combat Medal, Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Psy Ops Medal and Vietnam Air Medal.

“Joan and I have been a team. We will celebrate our 60th wedding anniversary on June 16,” he said.

Their children are: Robin, husband Dan and three children, New Jersey; Bruce of Madison; Alison, husband Andy and two sons of Orlando; Warren, wife Maria and 10 children of Michigan; and Jennifer, husband John and four daughters of Texas.

The Diehls have two great-grandchildren.

He volunteers at St. Benedict’s Traditional Catholic Church in Lacey’s Spring. His primary hobby is fishing in Lady Anne Lake. He also swims and walks.

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