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55th Wing Hall of Fame accepting nominations

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --

The Fightin’ Fifty-Fifth has left an indelible mark on history since its inception in 1941. The wing has been involved in nearly every major conflict, beginning with World War II, and is considered one of the most heavily deployed units in the Air Force today.

As the 55th Wing celebrates its 76th birthday this year, the 55th Wing Association is once again accepting nominations for the 55th Wing Hall of Fame.

“We want the people in the wing to come forward with the people they hold in high esteem,” said Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Jim Thomas, who is the former 55th Wing Association president and a Hall of Fame selection committee member.

Thomas says the purpose of the program is to recognize individuals who have made the most significant contributions or sacrifices in support of the 55th Wing mission. The program is also meant to instill pride in the wing. He added that all members of the wing have a say in who is inducted.

“It’s their Hall of Fame - we want them to submit the people that they feel are valuable to this wing,” Thomas said. “And then those people, in later years, can walk by that wall in the wing headquarters and say ‘I nominated that guy.’ Or wing members can look up there and read the citations on the plaques…and say ‘I want to be like that person.’ That’s what were after here in the Hall of Fame.”

Once the nominees are selected, the wing arranges for the induction presentation, which typically coincides with 55th Wing Birthday Ball. This year’s ball is scheduled for September 9 and will recognize the 70th anniversary of the Air Force.

"The Hall of Fame is a great way to honor those who have made the biggest impact on the success of this organization," said Col. Michael Manion, 55th Wing commander. "I would highly encourage nominating someone you feel is deserving of this honor."

The Hall of Fame began in 1999 when the first 19 members were inducted. In total, 64 individuals and one composite group for 55th Wing spouses have received the honor.

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Max Moore, who was selected for induction in 2011, said the award is important to preserving the legacy of the Fightin’ Fifty Fifth and is one of his greatest achievements.

“It was my very good fortune and high privilege to spend so much of my career in the 55th as a crew-dog navigator and a staff officer,” Moore said. “The dedication, motivation and the job satisfaction was always there in every position, in everything we did. It was the highest honor of my lifetime to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011 and become a part of the illustrious roster of 55th heroes and legends.”

The deadline for nominations is July 15. For more information on the nomination process, visit the “Hall of Fame” page on the 55th Wing Association’s website at http://www.55wa.org.