Mr. Cartwright entered active military service in 1966, attending US Air Force Basic Training at Lackland AFB followed by Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Amarillo AFB. During AIT, he received training on the maintenance of one & two engine jet fighters. Assigned to his permanent duty station at Laughlin AFB, he served as a T-38 Talon Crew Chief. Volunteering for service in Vietnam in 1968, he was assigned to the Bien Hoa AFB as a Crew Chief on a A-37 Dragonfly which is a light attack jet aircraft.
He also conducted maintenance on the F-100 Super Sabre single-engine jet aircraft, the first USAF fighter capable of supersonic speed in level flight. Upon completion of a one-year overseas tour, he was assigned to the Duluth AFB in 1969 as T-33 Shooting Star Crew Chief. This aircraft is a subsonic jet designed for training pilots and became Lockheed’s longest lasting jet trainer. Mr. Cartwright was honorably discharged from active military service on September 18, 1970.
Upon returning home, he enrolled in a First Air Frame and Power Plant Mechanic Course and, after two years, graduated and received an Air Frame and Power Plant (A&P) license from the Federal Aviation Administration. In 1974, Mr. Cartwright joined the Kentucky Army National Guard in Frankfort and was assigned to the 441st Medical Detachment. Successfully completing a six-month course of instruction, he became certified as a UH-1 and OH-58 helicopter mechanic. He also served as Crew Chief on both helicopters. He received an Honorable Discharge from the Kentucky National Guard in October, 1977.
In addition to several commendations for his outstanding service, Mr. Cartwright was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Kentucky Service Ribbon.
We encourage everyone to help welcome our veterans home as they return from their trip to Washington, D.C. Just be there by 7:30 p.m..
For more information on Honor Flight, visit https://honorflightky.org/.