Ken McBride

Ken grew up in Julian, Bakersfield, and the family ranch in Antelope, California. He graduated from San Juan High School in 1948, Placer Jr. College in 1950, and the Naval Aviation Cadet (NAVCAD) School in Pensacola, Florida in 1953. He met Joan in 1948 while in Junior College. They were engaged in August 1952 and married December 23, 1952 in Grass Valley, California.

Ken was enamored with airplanes at a young age, leading to his lifetime love affair with aviation. He started out as a Naval Aviation Cadet (NAVCAD) in 1951 and was awarded the wings of a Naval Aviator. His first asignment was flying TBM Avengers and S2F Trackers off numerous carriers in the Atlantic. After earning his Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering degree he became an instructor pilot in the T-34B and the T-28B. During his time in the Mediterranean he became a Nuclear Weapons Officer which proved to be very valuable later on in life. As a Naval Officer, Ken traveled the world with his family, spending time in Kingsville, Texas; Corpus Christi, Texas, Quonset Point, Rhode Island; San Luis Obispo, California (where he earned his Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering Degree); Pensacola, Florida; Naples, Italy; Monterey, California, Mayport Beach, Florida; and Albuquerque, New Mexico. At Kirtland AFB he was involved in underground weapons testing in Nevada. He retired fron the Navy as a Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) in 1973. In Albuquerque, Ken became a corporate pilot, charter pilot, an air ambulance pilot flying NICU babies, and a flight instructor.

Ken joined the Lobo Wing early on in the 80s and was a driving force to get the PT-26 flying. He was one of the first PT-26 pilots and also qualified as a PT-26 instructor Pilot. He was a long-time member of the Lobo Wing of the Commemorative Air Force, and at the time of his death was its most senior member.

Ken will be fondly remembered as a loving son, husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He had a dry wit, a sneaky sense of humor, and threw great parties with Joanie. His friendships lasted a lifetime. He will be missed.