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U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Peter J. Buley, Colonel, USAF (Retired)June 19, 1939 – October 18, 2019
Peter J. Buley (Colonel AF Retired) 80 Ann Arbor, MI Died Friday, Oct.18, 2019 of pancreatic cancer.
He emigrated from Canada at age 10. He was raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Peter graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in June 1963. He received a Bachelor’s of Science with a major in philosophy. He attended the Air Force Officer Training School at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas and was commissioned a second Lieutenant in December 1963. Colonel Buley received a Master of Arts Degree in Business Management from Central Michigan University in 1976. He attended the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, class of 1982.
Immediately after commissioning, Colonel Buley served as an aircraft maintenance officer at Glasgow Air Force Base, Montana. He was selected to attend Undergraduate Pilot Training. First assignment after graduation was as a B-52 pilot at K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base, Michigan. Colonel Buley then transitioned to helicopters and was assigned as rescue pilot and detachment commander in Southeast Asia for the Vietnam Conflict from December 1971 until December 1972. His next assignment was to the 89th Military Airlift Wing at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. His duties included transporting key government officials including cabinet members and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. September 1978 he was assigned as security police squadron commander at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. At the completion of this assignment, he was selected to attend the Air War College, Montgomery, Alabama
After graduating from the Air War College, Colonel Buley was selected to become a member of the Air War College faculty. He was Chief of Electives Programs managing the school’s 40 elective courses, serving as Chief of Research at the Air War College. Completing his tour on the faculty, Colonel Buley was assigned as the commander of the 351st Security Police Group, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, commanding 900 personnel in three squadrons. The group’s responsibilities were the security of Whiteman Air Force Base, and the 165 sites in the strategic missile complex located on 10,000 square miles of southwestern Missouri. Completing his tour at Whiteman Air Force Base he assumed command of the Air Force Reserve Officers Training at the University of Michigan, in July 1988. Colonel Buley served in that position until his retirement from the Air Force in August, 1991. During his last year at the University of Michigan the AFROTC Program was selected as the Outstanding Program among the 27 schools in the Ohio Valley Region.
In retirement, Colonel Buley was the Aerospace Science Instructor at Midview High School, in Grafton, Ohio. Then taught JAFROTC at Willow Run High School in Ypsilanti, Michigan.Colonel Buley’s military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, two Air Medals, and the Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters.
After retirement, Pete enjoyed spending time with family and friends, served as a vestry member of the Episcopal Church, creating woodworking projects, biking and spending time on Drummond Island. He also was a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and the Salvation Army.
Born of the Rev. Bernard G. Buley and Clara E. Buley. He is survived by his wife, Sandy; their daughters, Catherine (Robert), MaryAnn (George) and their sons, Andrew (Lisa) Thomas; seven grandchildren- Brittany, Kristen, Christopher, Matthew, Chad, Jackson and Madeline. Peter is also survived by two sisters, Christine Gronewold and Lois Wirth (William); and foster brother, David McKenzie (Pam)
A family Celebration of Life service was held on Sun. Oct. 20, 2019 in Ann Arbor, MI. Funeral services and burial of ashes will take place during the summer of 2020 on Drummond Island, Michigan.
Memorial contributions may be made to American Cancer Society or The Salvation Army.Pete Buley was a man of integrity, honesty and compassion. Being a hard worker was important to him. He made an effort to learn everyone’s name and made them feel special.
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