Maj. Michael G. McVay, Class of 1975, was killed in a motorized glider accident at the United States Air Force Academy on Oct. 31, 1985. Major McVay and his student, C3C Bradley W. Hushaw, died when their TG-7A motorglider crashed during a training flight north of the Academy. Services were held at the Academy on Nov. 5, 1985.
As a cadet, Mitch was active in all phases of Academy life. On the Superintendent’s List, Mitch was a squadron commander of the 36th Cadet Squadron and a member of 4th Group Staff. A leader in the classrooms and on the athletic fields, Mitch motivated and inspired all around him.
After graduation, Mitch attended graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh, where he received his Master of Arts degree in economics. After pilot training at Williams AFB, Ariz., Mitch was assigned to the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Offutt AFB, Neb. and the 319th Bombardment Wing at Grand Forks AFB, ND. As a copilot and aircraft commander in RC and KC-135 aircraft, Mitch amassed more than 2,000 flying hours prior to his assignment at Headquarters Air Force in the ASTRA program. While at the Pentagon, Mitch became a primary focal point in the Air Force budget process, taking on responsibilities far beyond his rank and experience level. In 1981 he was listed as one of the Outstanding Young Men of America.
In July of 1983, Major McVay was assigned to the Economics Department at the Air Force Academy, a position he held until his death. As an instructor and squadron faculty officer, Mitch involved himself in as many aspects of cadet life as possible, motivating each cadet to strive to realize his or her potential. His unwavering support of the tenets of the Cadet Honor Code were an inspiration to his cadets as the wing experienced a time of significant challenges to the honor system.
A mere listing of honors and accomplishments would tell us little of Mitch McVay. In the classroom, we were touched by his enthusiasm; in the cockpit, by his professionalism; in the home, by his love and understanding. He was our good friend, always willing to share his ability; he was our leader, continually turning challenges into opportunities; and most of all, he was our finest example: Husband, Father, Officer, Pilot, Teacher, Friend.
Major McVay is survived by his wife, Karen, and their three children, Corry, Christopher, and Andrew; his parents, Glen A. and Margaret J. McVay of Canton, S.D.; brothers Patrick (USAFA ‘77) of Rapid City, S.D., and Timothy of Sioux Falls, S.D.; and a sister, Cathy Byington, also of Sioux Falls. A memorial fund has been established in Mitch’s name and contributions may be sent to the Michael G. McVay Memorial Fund, Association of Graduates, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. 80840-5000.
Mr. Scott Skinner, ‘75, and Capt. Al Piotter, ‘75 | October 1985