Jerauld Richard Gentry – Colonel,United States Air Force

From a contemporary press report:


Col., USAF (Ret.) (Age 67)Of Alexandria, Virginia, died on March 3, 2003. He was born in Oklahoma, May 16, 1935, the son of Jacob R. and Louise Hoyt Gentry, both deceased. He is survived by his wife, Anne Rogers Gentry; two sons, Jeffrey R. Gentry and Alan H. Gentry and three grandchildren, Ryan Wells, Whitney Elizabeth and Sayler Allyn Gentry. Funeral arrangements are pending, and will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association's Scholarship Grant Program, PO Box 882, Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538.

Jerauld Richard “Jerry” Gentry, 67, a retired Air Force Colonel and decorated Vietnam War veteran who spent much of his career as a fighter and test pilot, died March 3, 2003, at Inova Alexandria Hospital after a heart attack. He lived in Alexandria, Virginia.Colonel Gentry, a Washington area resident since 1982, was born in Oklahoma. He was a 1957 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and took his commission in the Air Force. He received a master's degree in aerospace systems management from the University of Southern California.

He graduated from Aerospace Research Pilot School in 1964, before beginning a seven-year tour at the Air Force Flight Test Center as a test pilot. During that tour, he became chief Air Force pilot with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in a joint project that led to the space shuttle program.

In 1971, he went to Thailand and flew more than 200 missions in the F-4D Phantom fighter. Later, he was a leader in the Air Force's lightweight fighter program that led to the development of the F-16 Fighting Falcon. He then served at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, where he was a “Red Flag” aerial combat training commander. He later took command of the first tactical fighter wing to receive the new F-16 fighter.

In 1983, he became deputy chief of staff for research, development and acquisitions at Air Force headquarters.

After retiring from active duty in 1985, he founded the Alexandria aerospace and defense consulting firm of Gentry and Associates Inc. and remained its head until his death.

Colonel Gentry, a command pilot, had flown more than 40 types of aircraft, logging more than 4,700 flying hours.

He was a recipient of the Octave Chanute Award and the Harmon International and Ivan E. Kincheloe trophies.

His Air Force decorations included the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, two awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross, three awards of the Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Medal with two silver and three bronze oak-leaf clusters.

He was a member of the Air Force Association, the Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association, the Daedalians, the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and the International Order of Characters.

His marriage to Arden Gentry ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of 15 years, Anne Rogers Gentry of Alexandria; two sons from his first marriage, Jeffrey R., of Georgia, and Alan H., of Tallahassee; and three grandchildren.


  • VETERAN SERVICE DATES: 06/04/1957 – 02/28/1985
  • DATE OF BIRTH: 05/16/1935
  • DATE OF DEATH: 03/03/2003
  • DATE OF INTERMENT: 04/09/2003

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