Learning Center Our Enshrinees

Robert J. Gililand


  • Assigned to the 86th Fighter Wing at Neubiberg Air Base, West Germany where he flew the F-84 Thunderjet and was among the first generation of Air Force pilots to successfully make the transition from propeller-driven craft to jets.
  • Served in the Korean War with the 69th Fighter Squadron and flew 20 combat missions in the Republic F-84.
  • Was a test pilot and instructor for the F-104 Starfighter at Lockheed Corporation.
  • Joined Lockheed’s Advanced Development Program in 1962, a top-secret program known as the “Skunk Works.” Gilliland became their Chief Test Pilot and was the first to fly the SR-71 Blackbird and test flew every Blackbird that came off the production line before it was turned over to the Air Force.
  • Logged over 6,500 flight hours and has more experimental supersonic flight test time above Mach 2 and Mach 3 than any other pilot.

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