Kight, Richard Thomas

Richard “Dick” Thomas Kight, Brigadier General, USAF (Retired)
October 18, 1913 – June 17, 2001

Brig. Gen. Richard T. Kight, USAF (Ret.), the “father of air rescue,” died June 17, 2001, of complications from emphysema; he was eighty-seven.

Born and raised on a ranch near Amarillo, Texas, General Kight loved airplanes from his youth. He began his military career in 1933, when he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He completed flying training as an aviation cadet at Kelly Field, Texas, in 1935. An expert pilot, he and three friends formed an aerobatics team, billing themselves as “The Four Aces.” Commissioned a second lieutenant in October 1936, Kight was assigned to the 7th Bomb Group at Hamilton Field, California. He reverted to inactive reserve status in December 1936, and flew for United Air Lines until his recall to active duty at Langley Field, Virginia, in March 1938, where he served until 1941.

Wrote the Rescue Code and Motto and created its’ emblem

“It is my duty as an Air Rescueman to save lives and to aid the injured. I will be prepared at all times to perform my assigned duties quickly and efficiently, placing these duties before personal desires and comforts.
These things I do, that others may live.”

Integrity, Honor, and Respect
Some of the best things cannot be bought, they must be earned

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