461st plaque

461st Bombardment Group (H)

Air Force Academy Memorial Plaque

Air Force Academy Air Force Museum Arlington Cemetery

Air Force Academy

Air Force Academy

The 461st plaque is on the north wall (north side of cemetery, opposite the flag). The plaque is bottom row, right side, third in.

One of the highlights of the 1985 Reunion of the 461st BG was our plaque dedication ceremony.  We all gathered at the Memorial Wall to witness the acceptance of the plaque by Col. J. D. Manning on behalf of the Air Force Academy.  After the short ceremony, we bused to the beautiful Cadet Chapel for a Memorial Service.  This was followed by observing the cadets marching to their Dining Hall.  As Americans you can’t help but be proud of those young men.  Then we were off to the Officers’ Club for a lovely luncheon.  It was indeed a meaningful and great day!


There is an interesting history to the wording on our plaque.  These words were spoken by Capt. James Bumgardner, Jr., CSA, on the occasion of the dedication of the Confederate Cemetery and Memorial, Staunton, VA, June 9, 1879.  Capt. Bumgardner is an antecessor of one of our 766th Squadron members, Alexander E. Sproul.  We had the blessing of the current Judge James Bumgardner, to use the quotation.  We all agree that “the old man” is up there smiling today.  One hundred and six years later his words still speak a great truth.