Aviation Historian

Scott Harrington
Biographical Information

Scott Harrington was born and raised in the small farming community of Malta in northern Illinois. He attended the Malta schools and then Northern Illinois University in nearby DeKalb for two years. He then transferred to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and graduated with a major in Radio-Television in June of 1962.

With the war in Vietnam heating up and employment opportunities virtually non-existent unless his military obligation had been fulfilled, he applied for Officer Training School and entered the U. S. Air Force in September of 1962. In December, he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant and was assigned to the SAGE Center in Sioux City, Iowa, part of the 29th Air Division of the Air Defense Command.

After reporting to Sioux City he was sent to Keesler AFB, in Biloxi, MS to attend Weapon’s Controller School. He returned to Sioux City and spent nearly two years there in the computerized SAGE system as a Weapons Controller before being assigned to the 605th Tactical Control Squadron at Clark Air Base in the Philippines. As part of the 5th Tactical Control Group whose mission was to erect and man radar sites in Southeast Asia, Harrington was sent TDY from Clark to Tan Son Nhut Air Base near Saigon, South Vietnam for refreshing in the manual radar system. He returned to Clark and in April was sent TDY to Nakhon Phanom, Thailand for four months. He served as Senior Director and Weapons Controller of his radar operations crew. In addition to working with KC-135 tankers in refueling fighter/bombers, he also worked with several different temporary duty helicopter rescue groups as they performed rescue missions in SEA. For his efforts in Thailand he was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal. Harrington had a third assignment to Southeast Asia in November of 1965 where the 5th TAC team erected the radar site at Dong Ha and had it operationally ready well before Saigon was expecting it to be done. In addition to again having his own radar operations crew Harrington served as ramp officer in charge of expeditiously off-loading the 25 C-130 loads of equipment and personnel. For his efforts at He received an Oak Leaf Cluster to his Air Commendation Medal.

Upon returning to the United States he was assigned to Indian Springs Air Force Station, Nevada, in support of the then Atomic Energy Commission’s underground nuclear tests. He was responsible for communicating with B-57 bombers flying air sampling missions over the detonation sites.

Harrington left the Air Force in 1957 and began an 11-year broadcasting career at Dubuque, Iowa. Two years later he went to Indianapolis, Indiana working as a news reporter and radio news anchor. He later joined the news team at WSB radio in Atlanta, Georgia.

After a successful, award-winning five years at the 50,000 watt clear channel station, Harrington entered the public relations field with the Gulf Power Company in Pensacola, Florida.

His 26-year public relations career at Gulf Power earned him several awards and the Lt. Col. John Dillin Award for dedication and service to the Florida Public Relations Association, the highest honor bestowed by the association. He also became internationally accredited earning the APR (Accredited in Public Relations) designation through the Public Relations Society of America and the International Accreditation Board. He also earned the Certified Public Relations Counselor (CPRC) through the Florida Public Relations Association. Married and living in Molino, Florida, he is the father of four children. He and his wife, Jaci, have six grandchildren.

Harrington is also the author of “They Called It Naked Fanny”, Helicopter Rescue Missions During the Early Years of the Vietnam War.

Integrity, Honor, and Respect
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