Coyote Heritage ~ December 2008

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt Bill Gilliland
  • 190th ARW Historian

In last month's Coyote Heritage you may have noticed a small bit of information about a former 190th member who was named as a recipient of the Kansas Governor's Aviation Honor Award for 2008. Lt. Col. Michael A. Armour was a Coyote pilot with more than 6000 hours in military aircraft and held many positions of responsibility within Operations Group at the 190th. After retiring in 1992, he held other positions in the Kansas aviation industry and became quite well known to aviators across the state.

But he came very close to never achieving any of those honors, and in fact, came very close to making a piece of 190th history that no one wants. On Dec. 21, 1972, he was the pilot, who along with his weapons systems officer, 2nd Lt. Jack Chapman, was forced to eject from his B-57G bomber shortly after takeoff when the right engine failed. The bomber did not have enough power to remain airborne, and Capt. Armour was forced to trigger the ejection seats. This sent him and Chapman out of the bomber at less than 300 feet. While Chapman suffered some injuries, Capt. Armour was mostly just a little shaken up. A close call for a Kansas Coyote who would be named 36 years later as the Kansas Aviation Honor Award winner.