Brigadier General Richard (Dick) R. Hefton is the retired commander of the Oklahoma Air National Guard, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
The general was born on February 6, 1930, in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and graduated from Central High School, Muskogee in 1948. He attended the University of Oklahoma for two and one half years and earned a bachelor's degree in business management there in 1957 after his return from active duty. He also attended the American Press Institute, Columbia University, New York City, N.Y., 1961. His military schools include Air Command and Staff College, 1975; and the National Defense University, 1978.
General Hefton began his military career by enlisting in the U.S. Air Force on January 3, 1951, attending basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, and clerk-typist school at Tennessee Polytechnic Institute Cookeville, Tennessee, where-he attained the rank of airman second class.As an aviation cadet, he attended primary flight training at Kinston AB, NC, basic at Perrin AFB, TX, advanced at Craig Air Force Base, AL, and post-graduate at Nellis AFB, NV. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force Reserve on December 18, 1952. After graduation from Fighter Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada in 1953, he was assigned to the 436th Tactical Fighter Squadron, George Air Force Base, California, and flew F-86 aircraft. He was released from active duty in October 1955.
In January 1956, he joined the 185th Fighter Squadron, Oklahoma Air National Guard, as an interceptor pilot, and in 1961, qualified as a troop carrier pilot with the 65th Troop Carrier Squadron, Davis Field, Oklahoma.
In 1962, General Hefton joined the 188th Tactical Reconnaissance Group, Arkansas Air National Guard, Fort Smith Air National Guard Base, as a reconnaissance pilot, flight commander and standardization and evaluation flight examiner. In June 1973, he was appointed staff air operations officer, Headquarters, Oklahoma Air National Guard. He later served as staff public affairs officer, and in 1980, became executive support staff officer, serving as chief of staff, and was later assigned as assistant adjutant general for Air for Oklahoma. He retired in 1990 as Commander, OKANG.
The general is a command pilot with more than 2,500 flying hours in T-6, T-33, L-20, C-119, F-80A/B/C, F-86E/F/H, RF-84F, RF-101C, F-101B/F and F-100D/F aircraft. His military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award, Combat Readiness Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award with nine Oak Leaf Clusters, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Air Force Association Exceptional Service Award, Oklahoma Meritorious Service Medal, Governor's Distinguished Unit Award Ribbon and the Oklahoma National Guard Long Service Award.
General Hefton is in the newspaper publishing business, owning and operating daily and weekly newspapers in Oklahoma for the past 40 years.
His civic affiliations include Oklahoma Press Association, past president and treasurer; Midwest City and McAlester (Okla.) Chambers of Commerce, past president; McAlester United Fund and Industrial Foundation,, past president; Jaycees, past state vice president; Military Order of the World Wars. Central Oklahoma Newspaper Group, Inc., president; and Suburban Graphics, Inc., president. He is a member of the Rotary International (32 years); Presbyterian Church; National Guard Associations of the United States and Oklahoma; and was the Air National Guard advisor to the national president, Air Force Association. The general is an Eagle Scout and he was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame in 1986.
He is married to the former Rhonda King. They have five children.
General Hefton was promoted to brigadier general and federally recognized on January 31, 1985.