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GENERAL MELE VOJVODICH


MELE VOJVODICH
11/3/2003

Today Roadrunners and aviators worldwide mourn the loss of a great warrior, leader, and friend. Mele was one of the 5 remaining Roadrunner pilots who flew the CIA's A-12 spy plane during the Cold War. Mele, who retired from the Air Force as a major general, was part of the core that bonded his fellow Roadrunners through a lifetime of camaraderie and fellowship. His loss will be long felt and remembered.

Mele's last battle was with cancer, a hard fought battle that he couldn't win. At his side was his wife of 50 years, Carol, his son, Mark Vojvodich; daughter Debra Vandenbos and sister-in-law, Peggy Neely. General Vojvodich passed his last days at home listening to the sounds he was most familiar and comfortable with, the sound of jet aircraft overhead. General Vojvodich was born in Steubenville, OH, March 28, 1929 and graduated from Wintersville High School. After enlisting in the Army Air Corps, he entered the Aviation Cadet program receiving his pilot's wings at Nellis AFB, NV in 1950. Thus began a career and life usually found only in books of adventure and intrigue. General Vojvodich was a command pilot with over 6,000 flying hours in the Korean War and Vietnam Was as well as peace-time and experimental test programs. His military awards decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with four oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 13 oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and Army Commendation Medal. He was inducted into the elite Blackbird Laurels Fraternity and is a recipient of the coveted CIA Intelligence Star of Valor. A longtime member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, he was recently certified as a "Fellow" of the society. Of all his achievements in war and peace, he would best be remembered as a true patriot, a devoted loving husband and father. His actions, great and small, have touched the many who were fortunate to know him, and his mark on history lives on through those who knew him. He will not be forgotten and would have liked to be best remembered as "Mele Vojvodich, Air Force Pilot, Husband and Father" over any other title or achievement. Graveside Services and interment will be held at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, Friday, November 7, 2003 at 1315 Hours (1:15 P.M.) with Full Military Honors. Weather permitting, there will be a military fly-by. A Celebration of his life and Reception will follow at the Fort Sam Houston Officer's Club. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions may be given to Trinity Church, 5415 North Loop FM 1604 East, San Antonio, TX 78247, (210) 653-0003. Arrangements with Schertz Fundral Home.

Any correspondence or condolences may be sent to Mele's daughter Debbie at flysome@satx.rr.com. Cards may be sent to Mele's wife Carol at 128 Lincoln. Dr. Shertz Texas 78154