RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas –
12th Flying Training Wing commanders, retired Airmen, family members and friends gathered Dec. 5 and cheered as the Randolph Air Force Base's Officer and Enlisted Clubs were re-named for two distinguished local warriors.
At 11:30 a.m., guests of highly-decorated Korean War ace Col. Ralph S. Parr and retired Chief Master Sgt. Guy Kendrick, one of the Air Force's original group of "charter" chief master sergeants to be promoted to that rank, filed out of a lunch at the base's officer's Club.
In front of the building and braving the cold, they listened as 12th Flying Training Wing commander Col. Jacqueline Van Ovost and Colonel Parr lifted a veil from the newly-re-lettered sign in front of the building, officially re-naming it as the Parr Club.
Colonel Van Ovost called Colonel Parr, who flew 641 combat missions in three wars and logged 6,000 hours in fighter aircraft, "a consummate warrior." She noted he was the only winner of the Distinguished Service Cross and the Air Force Cross and said since his retirement in 1976, Colonel Parr has been part of nearly every significant 12th Flying Training Wing event happening at Randolph AFB.
Colonel Van Ovost added the designation of the facility as the Parr Club "will forever serve to inspire the Airmen who pass through its doors."
Later, Colonel Parr said he was absolutely delighted to have the club named after him.
"I don't see how I could have possibly been selected," he added modestly. "But I couldn't be more pleased."
The group of spectators then traveled by bus to the base's enlisted club, where Colonel Van Ovost and Chief Kendrick unveiled both a plaque and a sign renaming the facility as the Kendrick Club.
Colonel Van Ovost addressed the onlookers in front of the club saying, "This honors the legacy of not only one man, but that of all of our 'charter chiefs.'"
Chief Kendrick, who now lives in Kerrville, was promoted along with four others to his present rank on Dec. 1, 1959, while stationed at Randolph AFB in aircraft maintenance.
He served four tours on the base and has spent many hours during his retirement mentoring Airmen at Gaylor Airman Leadership School.
"This is an outstanding honor," he said as he gazed at the bronze plaque commemorating the event.. "Never in my life could I see myself in this position. I am humbled and honored."