Earl Wiese

Obituary — Earl J. Wiese Jr

Major Earl J. Wiese Jr was born in Duluth, Minnesota on June 18, 1939 and died on November 6, 2016 in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Earl was a career officer in the US Air Force, enlisting in 1960 and retiring as a Major on 31 July 1984.  After completing basic training at Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas and Armament and Electronics Maintenance School, he was assigned to Eglin AFB, Florida.

In 1962, he was selected for Officer Candidate School [OCS], graduating in OCS Class 63A.

After completing OCS, Earl attended Electronic Warfare Officer training at Mather AFB, California from which he was assigned to the 42nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron at Toul-Rosieres Air Base, France where he flew in the RB-66C aircraft performing Electronic Reconnaissance Missions along the borders of Czechoslovakia, East Germany and Poland, with deployments to Norway to fly reconnaissance missions over the Barents Sea in the area of Murmansk, Russia.

From Toul-Rosieres Air Base, the 42nd TRS was transferred to Chambley Air Base, France where Earl served as the 42nd TRS Executive Officer.

From Chambley, he was among the first cadre of volunteers to deploy to Takhli Air Base, Thailand to fly Electronic Reconnaissance and Radar-Jamming missions over North Vietnam in support of US Air Force and US Navy bombing missions.

From Takhli, he was assigned to Mather AFB, Sacramento, California as a training instructor in the Electronic Warfare Officer School.

He was then assigned to the Hq USAF Military Personnel Center [MPC] as the initial selectee under the Rated Manpower Program to make all assignments of Electronic Warfare Officers in their Air Force Specialty.

From the Military Personnel Center, he was assigned to Mountain Home AFB, Idaho where he became the EF-111A Electronic Warfare Standardization/Evaluation Officer.

He was then assigned to Hq Tactical Air Command [TAC] as Chief of the Commitments Branch in the Directorate of Operations.

His terminal assignment was at Eielson AFB, Fairbanks, Alaska where he was in charge of Air-To-Ground Gunnery and Bombing Ranges. Earl fell in love with Alaska and decided to retire from the Air Force and remain in Alaska.

He began his civilian career as Operations Manager and later as Director of the Parks and Recreation Department in the North Star Borough of Fairbanks Alaska.

In September 2002, after serving 5 different Mayors and a term as President of the Alaska Recreation and Parks Association, Earl retired from military and public service to purse his love of flying in his pontoon-equipped STOL Maule aircraft that he flew throughout the Alaskan Outback as a bush-pilot, landing and taking-off on uncharted lakes.

During his Air Force career, Earl completed Squadron Officer School and Air Command and Staff College, as well as completing his Master’s Degree in Public Administration.

His military awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross, 3 Meritorious Service Medals and 8 Air Medals.

Earl was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 44 years, Charlotte.

He is survived by his 3 sons; Earl, Craig and Brian. Also mourning his passing are his grandchildren; Sean, Christopher, Erin and Chase.


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