Veterans with local ties honored at Smithsonian

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Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 12:00 am

Retired Lt. Col Benton Boyer from Hawarden, Iowa, and retired Air Force Lt. Col. (Ret.) Eugene Atkinson of Papillion, were recently honored by the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

Their names have been placed on the “Wall of Honor” at the museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. The Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Va., just minutes from Washington Dulles International Airport. Boyer’s and Atkinson’s names are included with other F-100 Super Sabre fighter jet pilots that served in the military.

Both men where honored because of their military service in the Iowa National Guard. They were pilots for the 174th Tactical Fighter Squadron out of Sioux City, Iowa. Both pilots had hundreds of combat hours flying military aircraft including a 12-month mission assignment at Phu Cat Air Base during the Vietnam War.

They flew 178 combat missions out of Phu Cat.

Boyer was the squadron operations officer and was awarded the Vietnamese Service Metal with two Bronze Stars, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Metal, the Air Medal and eight Oak Leaf Clusters, the Outstanding Unit Citation and the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service. He is the father of Dan Boyer of Ralston.

Information on the Udvar-Hazy Center can be found at airandspace.si.edu/visit/udvar-hazy-center.

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