Colonel Joseph R. Nevers had an illustrious military career spanning 35 years. He was renowned as a fighter pilot having accumulated more than 7,700 flying hours in such aircraft as the F-86, F-100 and the F-104. In fact, his 4,885 flying hours in the F-104 were exceeded by only one other pilot in the United States Air Force. He flew F-104 combat missions in the Vietnam War and returned to that combat theater later on as a Deputy Base Commander of a Special Operations Wing operating from a base in Thailand. Other key assignments included Director of F-104 operations at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona; Deputy Base Commander at Homestead Air Force Base, Florida; and Commander of the 354th Combat Support Group at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base. In effect, he was the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing's Base Commander in this latter position. He served for more than seven years becoming the Base's longest serving commander. Chief among his service awards are the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, two Distinguished Flying Crosses and five Air Medals.