HOF 1970 Major Ken Sampson

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Ken Sampson

  • Graduated from McEwen High School in 1970

    • was a member of FFA, serving as Reporter, Vice President and President

    • participated in speech contests, thespians

    • served on the student council

    • Played cornet in the Band and guitar in the Stage Band

      • his senior year he was chosen musician of the year

  • Began his college career at Columbia Basic College

    • earned his Associates degree in Agri-Chemical Business

    • graduated with a 3.93 gpa

  • Enlisted in the military

    • Joined the Army as an Armor Crewman & graduated top of his class

    • was assigned to an Armored Cavalry Squadron

    • was singled out to attend Officer Candidate School

      • graduated with honors, received his commission and became a tank commander

    • went on several deployments

    • decided to pursue another childhood dream which was to fly

      • applied for and was accepted to attend the US Army's Flight School in Fort Rucker Alabama

      • he went from commanding 52 ton battle tanks to flying Huey Helicopters

      • he also flew Blackhawks with the 101 Airborne Division, and Chinooks in Alaska on the Army's Elite High-Altitude Rescue Team

      • the unit he commanded established the world record for high altitude mountain rescue on Mt McKinley at over 20,000 ft

    • during his military service he attended numerous schools including Airborne at Fort Benning Georgia where he learned to jump from perfectly good airplanes, even jets

    • his military assignments took him to countries on three continents including several hot spots or police actions

    • had a military career that lasted 38 years

    • he retired with a rank of Major

  • He found time to complete a bachelor's degree in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University graduating with a 4.0

  • He has been a University professor and an instructor pilot

  • He has also been active in the communities and churches where he has lived

  • Married to wife Vickie and they have two children

  • He quoted: "The seeds of citizenship and of a Christian faith, planted by my parents, so many caring teachers and the Athena community leaders, germinated in me a deep love for God, for family and for my country. The love could only be demonstrated through service"

Ken Sampson