Lloyd Newton was my classmate at Tennessee State University. Of course, we called him Fig. He was a 1966 Reserve Officer Training Corps
distinguished graduate with a bachelor’s degree in aviation education. Fig and I served a tour of duty together in Vietnam at Da Nang Air Force Base, South Vietnam, otherwise known as “Rocket City.” He flew 269 combat missions, including 79 missions over North Vietnam.
After a second tour of duty in Vietnam, Fig became the first African-American pilot to fly with the US Air Force Aerial Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds.
From 1978 to 1982 he was assigned as an Air Force congressional liaison officer with the US House of Representatives, Washington, DC. He has commanded three wings and an air division, and held numerous staff positions. Beginning in 1993 and until 1995, he was director of operations, J-3, United States Special Operations Command. Newton was a command pilot with more than 4,000 flying hours in the T-37, T-38, F-4,
F-15, F-16, C-12 and F-117 stealth fighter.
Fig is a retired United States Air Force four star general who also served as Commander, Air Education and Training Command (COMAETC), which includes the US Air Force Academy, from 1997 to 2000.
This Veteran’s Day salute is for my friend and comrade, General LloydW.“Fig” Newton, US Air Force, Retired.
# # #
By guest author, Carl Gamble, veteran, former USAF pilot, retired airline Captain