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Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Duncan J. McNabb presents Maj. Bradley Downs USAF with the Cheney Award in 2007

The Cheney Award is an aviation award presented by the United States Air Force in memory of 1st Lt. William H. Cheney, who was killed in an air collision over Foggia, Italy on January 20, 1918. It was established in 1927, and is awarded to an airman for an act of valor, extreme fortitude or self-sacrifice in a humanitarian interest, performed in connection with aircraft, but not necessarily of a military nature.

Past AwardeesEdit

  • 2016 MSgt Christian M. Egger
  • 2015 Capt. Melonie Parmley and SSgt Eric McElroy
  • 2013 MSgt William T. Fritsch
  • 2012 Capt. Thaddeus L Ronnau
  • 2011 Capt. Kenneth Green and Master Sgt. Joseph Brownell
  • 2010 Maj. John Foy and Capt. Patrick Markey
  • 2009 Maj. John G. Mangan
  • 2008 Capt. Chad Bubanas[1]
  • 2007 Maj. Brad Downs and Maj Dan Roesch[2]
  • 2005 SSgt Patrick Mortell
  • 2004 Maj. John Groves[3]
  • 2003 1Lt. Randell Voas and 1Lt. Craig Prather
  • 2002 Majl Kevin Churchill and Capt. Sean LeRoy
  • 2001 TSgt. Thomas Fields[4]
  • 2000 TSgt. Jeanne M. Vogt (First enlisted woman to be awarded the Cheney Award)
  • 1996 Major Marshall B. "Brad" Webb
  • 1995 Capt. Charles M. Moncrief and Capt. Charles M. Harmon
  • 1994 SrA Matthew A. Wells and SrA Jesse W. Goerz
  • 1993 John L. Brainerd
  • 1992 Major Richard Brian Mcnabb and Major Stephen J. Laushine[5]
  • 1986 Capt Scott A. Chavez
  • 1985 Major Larry Clemons, who was also a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross in Vietnam, “…distinguished himself by performing a conspicuous act of valor during an aerial flight on 7 January 1985, while assigned to the 6594th Test Group, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. Major Clemons’ outstanding skill and leadership as aircraft commander of an HH-53 aircraft resulted in the rescue of a seriously ill crew member aboard the vessel “Queen Victoria.” The 1,380-mile flight established a new world record for the longest overwater helicopter rescue without landing. The professional competence, aerial skill, and outstanding leadership displayed by Major Clemons reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.”
  • 1984 Captain John C. Ritchie. Ritchie distinguished himself by performing a conspicuous act of valor during aerial flight at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, on 29 August 1983. His selfless actions in recovering a flamed-out T-33 aircraft averted a potential disaster in a densely populated residential area. Without regard for his personal safety, Captain Ritchie landed his aircraft and controlled it to avoid a JC-130 aircraft readying for takeoff and three F-4 Phantoms also parked on the ramp. The professional competence, aerial skill, and outstanding courage displayed by Captain Ritchie reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
  • 1983 SSgt Jeffrey Yates Jones (posthumous)
  • 1982 Capt. Greg Engelbreit and Capt. Fred Wilson. Capt. Wilson safely landed an RF-4C following a bird strike to the canopy during high speed training at low level which severely injured the pilot, Capt Engelbreit. Capt. Wilson also received the Koren Kolligian Jr. Trophy and the Distinguished Flying Cross for this event.
  • 1981 TSgt David J. Gerke and TSgt Tommie C. Wood
  • 1980 Capt Ronald W. Summers and 1Lt Kim F.P. Skrinak
  • 1979 Capt Kenneth R. Rees and TSgt John L. Pighini
  • 1977 SSgt James T. Carter
  • 1975 1LT Regina Aune (First woman to win the Cheney trophy)[6]
  • 1974 Capt Steven L. Bennett
  • 1970 Maj Travis Wofford
  • 1969 Sgt Isidro Arroyo Jr.
  • 1968 Sgt Thomas Newman
  • 1967 A1C Duane Hackney
  • 1965 Capt James A Darden, Jr and Capt Robert S Henderson
  • 1962 Maj. Rudolf Anderson, Jr.
  • 1961 1Lt William A. Luther and MSgt Lawrence G. Seckley
  • 1960 Capt Alfred S. Despres Jr.
  • 1959 Capt Herbert L. Mattox, Jr
  • 1957 First Lieutenant Robert M. Kerr
  • 1956 MSgt. Leonard J. Bachetti
  • 1955 William Sutherland
  • 1954 John Stapp
  • 1953 Capt. Edward G. Sperry
  • 1952 Capt. Kendrick U. Reeves
  • 1951 Capt. Daniel J. Miller
  • 1950 Sgt. Paul Prosper Ramoneda
  • 1949 Capt. William E. Blair
  • 1948 Col Gail S. Halvorsen
  • 1946 Sgt Larry Lambert - first live subject of a US ejector seat[7]
  • 1939 1Lt Harold L. Neely
  • 1936 Maj Frederick D. Lynch, SSgt Joseph L. Murray
  • 1935 1Lt Robert K. Giovannoli
  • 1933 2Lt William L. Bogen, SSgt Doy D. Dodd, Sgt Thomas J. Rogers
  • 1932 Pfc Arden M. Farley
  • 1931 Lt R.D. Moor and Pvt J.B. Smith. Lt. Moor, who also awarded the American Distinguished Flying Cross, lost his life while acting as an instructor to the Michigan National Guard air unit; following a mid-air collision he ensured that his passenger parachuted to safety while sacrificing his own margin of altitude for a safe bail out. Pvt Smith risked his life to rescue a pilot from a crashed and burning aircraft. These were reported in the British magazine AEROPLANE, issue of 17 February 1932.
  • 1930 No Award
  • 1929 William Albert Matheny[8]
  • 1928 2Lt Uzal Girard Ent
  • 1927 MSgt Harry A. Chapman - First Recipient of the Award

See alsoEdit

Ruth Cheney Streeter sister of William H. Cheney


  1. ^ Gunship commander receives Cheney Award
  2. ^ Air Force officers earn Cheney Award
  3. ^ Buzanowski, Senior Airman J.G. (2002-10-13). "Helicopter pilot is Cheney Award recipient". Air Force Print News.
  4. ^ Tull, Master Sgt. Ro (2002-08-30). "Lifesaving loadmaster receives award". Air Force Print News. Archived from the original on 2006-07-26.
  5. ^ McNabb Gets Cheney Award
  6. ^ "Colonel Regina Aune". US Air Force. Archived from the original on 2009-09-12.
  7. ^ AFEHRI
  8. ^ "Biography Brigadier General William A. Matheny". United States Air Force. Archived from the original on 2004-02-11.