Colonel Ken Cordier, USAF (Ret)
Col Cordier was born and raised in Ohio. He holds a bachelors’ degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Akron, and a masters’ degree in Business Management from Troy State (Alabama). His professional military education includes Squadron Officer School, the Armed Forces Staff College, the National Security Management Course and the Defense Attache School.
Upon graduation from pilot training at Del Rio, Texas in 1963, Col Cordier was assigned to MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, flying the F-4C Phantom. Col. Cordier flew two combat tours in support of the war in Vietnam. In 1965, he deployed to Ubon airbase, Thailand where he flew 59 missions over N. Vietnam and Laos. In July 1966, Col Cordier volunteered to fly another tour, this time at Cam Ranh Bay airbase, Republic of Vietnam. He then brought his combat record to 175½ missions and more than 500 combat hours. On Dec 2, 1966, Col Cordier’s Phantom took a direct hit from a surface to air missile, forcing him to eject some 85 miles north of Hanoi. He was captured immediately and held in 4 different prisons in and around Hanoi, and near the Chinese boarder, until his release on Mar 4, 1973.
Returning to active duty after 4 months convalescent leave, Col Cordier attended the Armed Forces Staff College and re-qualified to fly jet aircraft. Over the ensuing 12 years, Col Cordier served in a number of flying and staff assignments, culminating with a tour as Air Attache to the United Kingdom.
Col Cordier retired from the Air Force in 1985 and returned to the U.S. where he represented British Aerospace in Washington DC, as Director, Military Aircraft. Since moving to Dallas in 1993, Ken has been self employed as a management consultant and has partnered with his wife in building her Mary Kay sales organization. He has served in leadership positions in several local veterans’ organizations and was Chairman of the 2004 and 2008 Dallas Military Ball. Ken has served as National President of both the Red River Valley Fighter Pilots’ Association and NAM POWs, the Association of Vietnam POWs, and is a frequent speaker on the subject of his POW experiences. During the 2004 Presidential campaign, Col Cordier, along with a number of fellow POWs, appeared in the film “Stolen Honor”.
The Colonel is a Command Pilot with more than 2,000 flying hours in fighter type aircraft. His combat decorations include: the Silver Star with oak leaf cluster; the Legion of Merit; Distinguished Flying Cross; Bronze Star with combat V for valor; Air Medal with 6 oak leaf clusters; Prisoner of War Medal and the Purple Heart. Col Cordier has been honored by a number of civilian awards, including Honorary member of the American Fighter Aces Association, and in 1998 he was awarded the prestigious Daughters of the American Revolution DAR Medal of Honor. In 2008, he was inducted into the American Combat Aviator Hall of Fame.
Additional Professional and Service Affiliations
32nd Degree Mason
Air Force Association – Life Member
The Order of Daedalians
The Order of Quiet Birdmen
The Military Order of the World Wars – Life Member
The American Fighter Aces Association – Honorary member