Lt Col Joe Vida, USAF, 1963
Reconnaissance Systems Operator (RSO) crewmember on the SR-71 Blackbird--- a very high altitude supersonic reconnaissance aircraft whose missions were all highly classified. He holds the most years of crewmember service (16) and most flight time (1392 hrs). As crewmember on the 71's last operational flight, he participated in setting 4 world speed records to include fastest recorded flight from L.A. to D.C. (68 minutes). The A/C flown is now on display at the National Air and Space Museum along with the spacesuit he wore on the flight.