Learn from Legends

Oral Histories of Public Affairs Pioneers

AFPAAA's Oral History Project

AFPAAA's Oral History Project began on September 12, 1994 and continues to this day. So far, the stories of over thirty public affairs legends have been preserved through this unique project, with more on the way. The standards the project adheres to are the same as those of the USAF Oral History Program and the national Oral History Association.

The collection accumulates and preserves first-person accounts of public affairs events, activities, and related periods in the lives of selected interview subjects. The purpose of the AFPAAA collection is to provide a record of USAF public affairs activities for use by PA & PR practitioners, students, researchers, authors, historians, and journalists.

Why? There is a lot to learn from what others have been through ... both good and bad, right and wrong. USAF public affairs people have participated in every significant activity in which the Air Force has been involved, often in key positions; usually interpreting policy if not making it, and normally in close proximity to the "movers and shakers." Yet, no one has taken the time to collect the "lessons learned" ... until now.

Ready to learn how our predecessors dealt with public affairs challenges?  Follow the links below to learn from three public affairs legends. And check back periodically to read more histories as they become available for posting here.

Public Affairs Legends

... an original tale by a publicist extraordinaire, covering his experiences from World War II press camps to NORAD's tracking of Santa, and the great and near great in between.

... a riveting account of accompanying Vietnam POWs out of Hanoi and their return from Southeast Asia.

... tells how he turned a 20+ year Air Force public affairs career into posts as Assistant White House Press Secretary and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, with blunt but pertinent thoughts about the PR/PA business.