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The Suburbanite
  • Veteran of the Week, Ken Olinger, Air Force

  • Ken Olinger graduated from Green High in 1965. After attending The University of Akron for a year he joined the U.S. Air Force in 1966 and went to basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, Tx.

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  • Military Career
    Ken Olinger graduated from Green High in 1965. After attending The University of Akron for a year he joined the U.S. Air Force in 1966 and went to basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, Tx. Following basic training he went to Shepard Air Force Base for technical training to serve as a crew chief on various models of the McDonnell F-4 "Phantom".
    His first assignment was at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. where he spent one year. He then was assigned to Udorn, Thailand, with the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing in 1967. The unit was assigned to flying missions over North and South Vietnam. He returned home in 1968 and was again assigned to Eglin where he served out his enlist, getting out of the Air Force in 1970.
    Post Military Career
    After returning home he started back at UA and also worked at Goodyear in Corporate Engineering. He was assigned to the Computer Aided Design Program in 1974, one of the few departments at that time in the U.S. that used computers to help in design work. After that he worked in at Goodyear for 37 years in various fields, including quality control, race tires and experimental tires before he retired.
    He married his wife Linda and they had two sons, Ryan and Nathan. He began volunteering at Military Aviation Preservation Society (MAPS) and got involved in restoration projects. One interesting piece of history he is now involved with is the Goodyear G-22 Drake Amphibian, which his father worked on when he was Chief Mechanic in Flight Operations at Goodyear. Olinger never thought he would ever be involved in working on something his father was associated with when he joined MAPS, but remembers seeing the plane as a youngster with his father.