Army Aviation Hall of Fame 2001 Induction
CW4 Billy J. Fulbright completed flight training in one of the early warrant officer candidate classes at Fort Sill, Okla. Shortly thereafter he was assigned to and became instructor pilot in the H-21 transition school at Fort Riley. Dozens of his students, well trained and experienced CH-21 pilots, manned the first five cargo helicopter companies sent to Vietnam in 1961-62. He was next assigned as Standardization Instructor Pilot in the 8th Transportation Company in Vietnam training replacement pilots in combat mission flying. Leading by example he flew many helicopter medivac missions and fixed wing recon missions in the L-19.
In 1963 he was instrumental in forming a Caribou Transition Course at Fort Benning and transitioned pilots in both fixed and rotary wing aircraft for the 11th Air Assault Division Tests. In 1967 he was selected for training in the Navy P-2V Neptune patrol bomber. He supervised bringing six of these four engine (two reciprocating and two jet) P-2Vs out of storage to install top-secret radio research equipment. He then became the Standardization Instructor Pilot for this newly formed 1st Aviation Radio Research Company and deployed with it to Vietnam. His responsibilities included training pilots in all maneuvers to include emergency procedures and for the continuous 10 to 12 hour mission profile of the Neptune.
After a tour in Hawaii as instrument flight examiner and U-21 instructor pilot, he attended the first Aviation Warrant Officer Advanced Career Course and was subsequently assigned to the Federal Aviation Agency as Army Aviation Coordinator for five southwestern states.
This outstanding master Army aviator retired in 1975 with over 30 years service, more than 8,700 flight hours (of which 1250 were combat) and more that 1,000 in the P-2V. He was qualified in 25 aircraft types.