Lieutenant Colonel Rutherford, a native of Montgomery, Alabama, was a Command fighter pilot in the United States Air Force and the District of Columbia National Guard for more than 30 years. He was stationed at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base four times (1957, 1968, 1970 and 1976) during his career. Lieutenant Colonel Rutherford flew a number of aircraft including the F-86H, F-100D and A-7D. He was the Chief of Airfield Management at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base when he retired in November 1981. Lieutenant Colonel Rutherford had a tour in Vietnam in 1969 and 1970, where he flew 100 combat missions. His military awards and decorations in the Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Purple Heart, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal.