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Information for:

Thomas J. Echols

  • Vietnam veteran Chief Thomas J. Echols.
    Vietnam veteran Chief Thomas J. Echols.
  • Retirement portrait of Chief Thomas J. Echols who served in the USAF for 31 years.
    Retirement portrait of Chief Thomas J. Echols who served in the USAF for 31 years.

Air Force

Chief Master Sergeant (CMSgt [E-9])

From: San Angelo, Texas (Goodfellow Air Force Base Assignment)

Served in: Vietnam War

Dates of Service: 1955-1986


Chief Thomas J. Echols was born in Lawrenceville, Georgia and attended Morehouse College and Atlanta University. After enlisting in the USAF in February 1955, he completed his basic training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas. He also trained at the Communication Systems School at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi.

An assignment to the 6940th Security Wing brought Echols to San Angelo, Texas in August 1965 before he was reassigned to the 6994th Security Squadron at Nha Trang Air Base in South Vietnam in 1966.

Chief Echols’s decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star (with “V” device), the Meritorious Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Medal with Five Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal with Two Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon with Star Device.