In Memoriam

Jim Pueppke

James Edward Pueppke

His friends, fellow pilots, and the Class of 1968 mourn the tragic loss of Captain James E. Pueppke. He died in an aircraft accident on November 26, 1977. After experiencing engine failure and attempting to force land on a road just short of the airport a vehicle backed into the path of his aircraft. His valiant attempt to avoid hitting the vehicle resulted in loss of control of his own aircraft with subsequent fatal results. While at the Academy Jim served in 2nd Squadron and graduated from the 20th Squadron. He was known and well liked for his easy smile, his agile and ingenious mind, and his selfless concern for the welfare of others. He developed a taste for travel that remained with him until his death. He graduated from UPT at Laredo, in July of 1969 and subsequently served three tours in SEA one in AC119 gunships and two in A-37's. From Vietnam he went to O-2's in Hawaii and then to A-7's in the 358 Tactical Fighter Squadron at Davis-Monthan where he was an instructor pilot at the time of his death. Jim's death is a deep, personal loss for many of us. He was a dedicated professional, a patriot of the highest order, and a dear friend whose absence leaves a void that will never be filled. Yet we can take comfort in the fact that we were all made better through knowing him, that he brought out a quality of goodness that is to be richly cherished and that his death was quick, painless and was in the true spirit of Jim Pueppke, a sacrifice so that others might not be harmed. He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Willard L. Pueppke and his brother, Larry.     (Paul J. Hurley, '68 and Steve A. McPhail, '68)

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