Richard “R.G.” Head is a retired Brigadier General of the U.S. Air Force and Coronado’s 2014 Citizen of the Year. Raised in Iowa, Head attended the Air Force Academy and went on to become a fighter pilot and “Top Gun” at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas before serving in Viet Nam. He earned graduate degrees in public administration from Syracuse University, attended the National War College in Washington D.C., served on the Council on Foreign Relations, worked in the Pentagon, and worked with NATO in Italy—all before starting a second career with the engineering firm SRS Technologies.
R.G. authored a number of works during his Air Force days, including the book Crisis Resolution: Presidential Decision-Making in the Mayaguez and Korean Confrontations (1978) and an article for Foreign Affairs magazine. In 2016, he published a biography of WWI flying ace Oswald Boelcke, entitled Oswald Boelcke: Germany’s First Fighter Ace and Father of Air Combat.
R.G. and wife Carole Hoover-Head moved to Coronado in 2007 and reside in the Coronado Cays, where he is past Commodore of the yacht club. Awarded the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Air Medal, R.G. is honored on Coronado’s Avenue of Heroes
Oswald Boelcke: Germany’s First Fighter Ace and Father of Air Combat RG Head, Brigadier General, USAF (Ret.), PhD
Oswald Boelcke was the first WWI German pilot to become an Ace and the first combatant on either side to achieve 40 victories. His character, inspirational leadership, organizational genius, development of air-to-air tactics and impact on aerial doctrine are all reasons why Boelcke remains an important figure in aviation history. In this definitive biography, RG Head explores why Oswald Boelcke deserves consideration as the most important fighter pilot of the 20th century.
RG graduated from the US Air Force Academy and was one of the first fighter pilots in Vietnam. He flew 325 combat missions in the A-1 Skyraider, earned the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross and thirteen Air Medals. He had a second tour in SE Asia and commanded the 90th Fighter Squadron. His Ph.D. is from Syracuse University, and he taught at the USAF Academy. He and his wife live in Coronado Cays.
“This fascinating volume captures combat aviation at its inception: no rules, little structure, minimal training, rapid changes of equipment; the only constants were courage and chaos.” General Mike Dugan, former Chief of Staff, USAF
“This book is unique since it was written by a fighter pilot looking very specifically at Oswald Boelcke. It is an amazing and well-documented biography about a WWI German pilot who was the most famous man in Europe when he died in 1916.” Flieger Blatt: The Magazine of the German Military Aviators Association
“RG Head has done a magnificent job in preparing this overdue biography of the first great fighter leader. Definitely, one to have.” Cross & Cockade International: The First World War Aviation Historical Society Quarterly Journal “The author has written a most interesting book which, far more than a biography, addresses the strategic and tactical doctrines for the employment of airpower during the period 1914-1916 and the development of the aircraft as a weapon.” John Benjamin, Chief Librarian, Prop-Swing: Journal of the Shuttleworth Veteran Aeroplane Society “This new biography by RG Head is a mixture of reverence and analysis. It is written in a conversational style as if he was giving a talk over a decent gin and tonic to a few chums in a cozy bar.” Mark Barnes, War History Online