It is our honor to announce that Colonel Kenneth W. Cordier, USAF (ret.), Former Vietnam Prisoner of War has become a part of the Airpower Foundation Advisory Board team.

Kenneth W Cordier has had a distinguished career both in the military and in the private sector. Col. Cordier and is married to Barbie and reside in Plano, TX.

Col. Cordier graduated from the University of Akron in 1960 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. He later earned a Master of Science in Management from Troy State University, Alabama. His professional military education includes Squadron Officer School, the Armed Forces Staff College, the National Security Management Course and Defense Attaché School.

In 1965, he was assigned to Ubon AB, Thailand, where he flew 59 combat missions over N. Vietnam and Laos. In July 1966, Col. Cordier volunteered for another tour in Southeast Asia, this time to Cam Ranh Bay, Republic of Vietnam, where he brought his combat record to 175 1/2 missions. While escorting a B-66 north of Hanoi on December 2, 1966, Col. Cordier’s F-4C Phantom took a direct hit from a surface to air missile(SAM), forcing him to eject. He was captured immediately and held in four different prisons in and around Hanoi until his release on March 4, 1973.

Colonel Cordier is a command pilot with more than 2,000 flying hours in fighter type aircraft. His combat decorations include: the Silver Star with oak leaf cluster; the Legion of Merit; Distinguished Flying Cross; Bronze Star with combat “V” for Valor; Air Medal with 6 oak leaf clusters; Prisoner of War Medal and the Purple Heart. He also holds the Defense Superior Service Medal and 12 other U.S. and foreign awards and decorations.

Col. Cordier was held as a Prisoner of War in Vietnam for six years, three months and two days. While serving the country under the most difficult circumstances, he developed a strong personal philosophy relative to perseverance, goals, and accomplishment. As part of the healing process, Col. Cordier has made five trips back to Vietnam. On the second visit, he led a group of 13 former POWs to visit several of the prisons where they were held, then to tour cities and cultural sites in both the North and South. This trip was a success in that it not only helped the POWs involved bring closure to their experience but served as a model for others who followed.

The Airpower Foundation is honored to welcome him to our Advisory Board.