Col. Henry (Hank) W. Steadman (1927-2016) USMC-ret. (1945-1978); interred at nearby Barrancas National Cemetery Pensacola. That long train ride from the farm in Mississippi to Parris Island, SC in 1945 was an auspicious start to a remarkable 33-year career in USMC. During his 5 years as an enlisted Marine, one of his earliest assignments was serving as Honor Guard on the Freedom Train for 14 mos. escorting all the important documents of the US throughout the United States following WWII. Selected as model for the USMC recruiting poster, utilized for nearly 20 yrs. Commissioned in 1950, followed by flight training, beginning an eventful and exciting flying career. Flew many of the early Marine Corps jets, including F-9F, FJ-4, T-33 and A-4. Miscellaneous other aircraft flown include: SNJ, T-28, F6F, AD(-4/5/6), SNB, R4D-8/C-117D, and OV-10. Transitioned to helos in 1959, and eventually saw service in HTL-6, HO4S, H-37, H-34, H-46, H-53, UH-1 and AH-1J. 2 distinguished tours in Vietnam: the 1st in 1965 as XO/CO of HMM-362 flying H-34s; his 2nd tour in 1970 as CO ("Papa Fox") of HMM-364 Purple Foxes flying CH-46s, and S-3 of MAG-16. Notably awarded 2 Silver Stars, LofM w/Cmbt V, DFC, VN Cross of Gallantry w/Silver Star, Purple Heart and 25 Air Medals during 500 combat missions over two VN tours. Final flying assignment: CO of MAG-29 at MCAS New River, NC (AH-1, UH-1, OV-10); then attended ICAF. Following retirement in 1978 served as helo/fixed-wing simulator instructor for 6 yrs. at NAS Whiting Field, FL. Proudly served as docent at this museum over several years. TOTAL Military Flying: 25 years, 5,000+ hours, 2 combat tours/500 combat missions, wide diversity of fixed and rotary-wing aircraft in multiple leadership positions. Col. Hank Steadman was our own larger-than-life hero and inspiration, 3 of his children followed with military careers, model Marine, distinguished and recognized leader, devoted family man and true American Hero.