Lieutenant Colonel R. Edward Yeilding

Lieutenant Colonel R. Edward Yeilding (HM1BIU)

Location: Florence, AL 35630 Lauderdale County
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Country: United States of America
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N 34° 48.734', W 87° 37.455'

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United States Air Force

This F-4D Phantom is displayed in honor of Lt. Col. Edward Yeilding and all Veterans who served with the Phantom aircraft. Captain Ed Yeiding's name is painted on the front canopy to honor his nine years flying Phantoms similar to this F-4D and because of his unusual six years as a SR-71 Blackbird pilot.

Born 1949 and raised in Florence, Alabama, Lt. Col. Yeilding was an active-duty Phantom pilot from 1974-1983, with assignments in the RF-4C, F-4D, and F-4E. During his Okinawa assignment in 1979, then Captain Yeilding was crewed for several months with Lt. Ralph E. Gholson, a Weapons System Officer from Texas. Lt Col. Yeilding chose Gholson's name for the rear canopy to honor Gholson's enthusiasm for their mission, and to commemorate Lt. Gholson's life, which ended in 1981 during a RF-4 war game exercise in Nevada while practicing for the defense of ourcountry and our freedoms.

After Lt. Col. Yelling's Phantom assignments, he was selected in 1983 for assignment to Beale Air Force Base, CA to fly SR-71 Blackbirds. Lt. Col. Yeilding flew 93 overseas Blackbird reconnaissance missionsand became an SR-71 instructor and developmental test pilot. When the SR-71 Blackbird fleet was retired in 1990, Lt. Col. Yeilding and Lt. Col. J.T. Vida, a Reconnaissance Systems Officer of CA were tasked with delivering an SR-71 to the Smithsonian Institution and to set an official speed record enroute to honor all of the highly dedicated Americans who designed, maintained, supported, and flew the amazing SR-71 Blackbird during its 25 years of vital service.

On March 6, 1990, Yeilding, Vida, and their Blackbird set an official coast-to-coast aircraft speed record of 67 minutes 54 seconds, cruising at mach 3.3, 2,190 mph, and reaching an altitude of 83,000 feet. That SR-71, tail #64-17972, is on display at the Smithsonian's Udvar-Hazy Center, west of Washington, D.C.
Year Placed2013
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 5th, 2014 at 4:03pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 442905 N 3852398
Decimal Degrees34.81223333, -87.62425000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 48.734', W 87° 37.455'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 48' 44.04" N, 87° 37' 27.30" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)256
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 14015 Veterans Park Dr, Florence AL 35630, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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