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Lt. Col. William “Bill” Schwertfeger

Lt. Col. William “Bill” Schwertfeger

2015 Distinguished Alumni

Aerospace Studies, '67

Lt. Col. William R. Schwerfeger was commissioned as a second lieutenant from the OSU ROTC program in 1967. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame in November 2013.


Throughout his distinguished military career, he has served as an overseas fighter pilot, during which he became a prisoner of war for 407 days after he was forced to eject over North Vietnam during a mission in 1972.


After he was brought back hom, he moved into the role of fighter pilot instructor and adviser, serving bases in Nevada, Virginia, New Mexico, Kansas and several European countries. He retired from the Air Force in 1988. After retirement, he flew more than 10,000 hours in Boeing 727s for American Airlines before retiring in 2005.

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