November, 2009, his
obituary from the News-Observor:
George F. Proudfoot
George Francis Proudfoot III, age 65, died at home in Cary, on Wed, Nov 25,
2009, after a long battle with prostate cancer. Born Dec 16, 1943 in Denver,
CO. Loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend. Brought peace, love, and
laughter to all he touched. Survivors include: wife, Anne Proudfoot of Cary;
sons, George Christopher Proudfoot of Phoenix, AZ, Daniel Proudfoot of
Washington DC; stepdaughter, Lisa Peterson of Cary; granddaughter, Megan
Peterson of Cary. Eldest of nine siblings - Bernie, Mary, Walter,
Nicolette, Dan, Sallie, Joseph, and Karen - and uncle to many. Memorial
service on Sat Dec 12 at 2:30 p.m. at Unity Church of the Triangle, 118 S
Person St., Raleigh, NC. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be
made to Unity Church of the Triangle or Duke Home Care & Hospice.
A message from Bob Schmitt:
George Proudfoot, a squadron pilot
in 1968-69, was a true Renaissance man. He was a talented and trusted
Phantom pilot. George flew the F-4 Phantom with the Black Knights in Chu
Lai, Vietnam from June 1968 to July, 1969. He also served a three-month tour with the Korean Marines near
Hoi An, as a Forward Air Controller (FAC) from November 1968 to February, 1969. After his Marine Corps service, he continued to fly hang-gliders
throughout most of the western states.
He joined EDS after
active duty, worked for Ross Perot's pet project on Wall Street, where Ross
was going to "revolutionize" brokerages with technology. He
later was a founder of Data Design Associates, a very successful developer of
mainframe software for the Fortune 50.
Most of his career was
in the Bay area, but he moved in the '90s to the Raleigh, North Carolina area where he had
executive positions with Global Knowledge and American Research
I met George at Cherry
Point. where I joined VMFA-513 as a RIO (F-4 back seat). We flew together
many times and became friends possibly through a mutual admiration of
"Catch-22". On a deployment to Yuma, AZ to concentrate on
bombing skills, we became self-taught boomerang "experts" to pass the
time. George had been to Yuma previously and knew his way around the Grand
Canyon, at least in a Phantom. We had one memorable ride below the rim,
likely against the rules even then.
receiving his first Air Medal
from a successful multiday mission to Udorn AFB, April 1969
Flight crew included RIO Bob Schmitt
I was sent to Chu
Lai, Vietnam, arriving late May 1969. George wound up in the same
squadron, VMFA-314, just a few weeks later. One of my duties was writing the flight schedule
and I scheduled myself with pilots I could trust. That included George and
we flew many times together. When new Quonset-hut quarters were built
for the squadron, we shared a one-quarter section as roomies. The
photo above is right outside the hut. Note the sandbags on the right
and the slit trench on the left, our protection during rocket attacks.
logbook shows we flew 46 missions as Apple Flight, our call sign taken
from the Beatles' record label. Not especially warlike. The best
"missions" took us away from Vietnam. There was the
"Great Udorn Divert", where a failed generator and my checkbook
resulted in a few days at Udorn AFB Thailand. Civilization, or
nearly so! The hats in the photo above were required Air Force
attire; the beads were optional.
after this in May 1969, our names came to the top of the "good
deal" list and we ferried a Phantom from Chu Lai to an overhaul
facility in Atsugi, Japan. We made brief stops at the Naval Air
Station Cubi Point, the Philippines, Naha AFB in Okinawa, MCAS Iwakuni,
Japan and finally Atsugi. We left Chu Lai on May 1 and arrived in
Atsugi on May 6. These were my last missions in Vietnam.
took longer to get back to Chu Lai, by way of (a few days in) Tokyo, the
Bullet Train to Kyoto, a local train to Hiroshima/Iwakuni and military
flights back. We were in the officers' mess at Futema MCAS, Okinawa on May
18 when the story came through that a Phantom had collided with a C-130
tanker based at Futema. The tanker was refueling two Phantoms from
VMFA-314. Those crews survived, but all on the C-130 and the other
Phantom perished. That pilot had been in my TBS class, Charlie Pigott.
quirk of fate awarded a second R&R to aircrews. At the end of
May, we went to Hong Kong where I celebrated my 25th birthday. In
mid-June, I left Vietnam for MCAS Kaneohe, Oahu, Hawaii and George was
sent to El Toro, California. My active duty service ended in August, 1971,
but I remained in Hawaii until 1985. George visited Hawaii once and we
stayed in touch by mail. After my relocation to Southern California,
I visited George in Fremont a few times and attended his wedding with Anne
in May 1990.
Bob's wife Shannon, George and Anne Proudfoot at the Reunion
and Anne came to the squadron reunion in San Diego,January, 2007 and he
got to fly the F-18 flight simulator at MCAS Miramar. As I recall,
he not only "flew" under the Coronado Bay Bridge but also made a
bomb run on La Jolla. All synthetic, of course, but his piloting
skills were undiminished. Good show, George!
Bob, Anne Proudfoot and Bob's wife Shannon. Cary, NC, May, 2009