William J. "Bud" Breckner Jr.
William J Breckner Jr. retired from mortal life and began eternal life early on the morning of February 16, 2008. Bud was born to the union of William J Breckner and Francis P Breckner of Sebring, Ohio on May 25, 1933. He attended Ohio State University before entering the aviation cadet program in 1955. For the next 32 ½ years he served the U. S. Air Force as a fighter pilot. Bud served numerous assignments through the years including postings in Colorado, Ohio, Michigan, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Florida, and Germany. In 1966, Bud flew as an exchange pilot with the navy for 38 months. He has over 200 carrier landings, including missions over North Vietnam. He returned to Southeast Asia in 1972. On July 30, 1972, his aircraft was hit by a surface-to-air missile while over Hanoi and he became a prisoner of war until his release in March 1973. Several assignments later, Bud was transferred to the Air Force Academy where he served as a deputy commandant and later vice commandant. He went on to more command assignments until his retirement in 1986. During his career, Bud amassed 5,100 hours in fighter aircraft and received military decorations including the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart. After his retirement to Colorado, Bud enjoyed skiing, working on the Colorado Springs Airport Commission and the Military Affairs Committee. He was also a proud member of the Falcon Foundation and attended many Air Force Academy sporting events and functions with his granddaughter Holli. Bud is survived by his son Randy and his wife Toni, daughter Kristen, granddaughter Holli, and his sister Pauline of The Dalles, Oregon. Other close relatives throughout the country also survive him. A memorial service will be held at the Air Force Academy Protestant Chapel February 23rd at 10:30 am. In lieu of flowers, Memorial Contributions may be made to The Disabled American Veterans.
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Published by The Gazette on Feb. 20, 2008.
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60 Entries
Bud and I were school mates in Sebring, Ohio and his path went to college and then the Air Force Pilot Training. I followed him into pilot training not knowing he had graduated. I was still in a cadet in training when our floor was called to attention with an Officer in attendance. With my head at stiff attention the new second lieutenant was looking at me with big smile on his face. It was my old high school mate Bud Brecker. He had somehow learned I was in pilot training and he made a special trip to surprise me. I never forgot his consideration. That was an outstanding gesture on his part and I often thought about him through the years and especially on this Memorial Day weekend. May the heavens embrace your soul and God keep you in his arms. 6/27/2018. Jerry Tuel, Homosassa, Fl.
Gerald Tuel
Friend
May 27, 2018
My sincerest sympathizes to the immediate and extended family of this great guy, true American hero and Patriot. General Breckner was an inspiration to us all by his words actions and deeds. It was an honor to have known him and to have him as a 55-Q classmate. He will be missed.
Donald Evitt Lt Col USAF Ret
March 3, 2008
For his birthday last May, I sent Bud a card with a Harley picture and the quote, "Youth is a circumstance you can't do anything about. The trick is to grow up without getting old". Bud was the master. He lived a full, honorable and accomplished life. He was serious about things that matter but he was also great at creating fun - what a talent!

Growing up in Sebring, Bud was a neighbor of my late husband's family so the ties have always been strong. Jay and Bud shared a passion for flying and were lucky to be able to fly a private plane to business meetings when Bud joined our company as a second career after his retirement from the Air Force.

We'll all miss those twinkling blue eyes and his constant and loyal friendship.
Lynn Keller
March 3, 2008
Randi, your father, "Bud", Jim Obney,
Dick Bodo and myself were all close
friends during our high school days
at Alliance High School. We all loved
Bud and now will dearly miss him. He
was a special person even way back
then. Our prayers are with you and
your family.
C. William "Bill" Agnew
February 29, 2008
My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Bud. We were high school classmates and spend graduation day and evening together. I drove Bud to school almost everyday except when his 37 Chevy was running. What an exceptional man. Randy I never met you, but I would wager that you are an outstanding young man as well. I thank God for giving me a great friend like your father.

Jim
Jim Obney
February 28, 2008
Dear Randi, Kristen and Hollie and Pauline & family:We send our deepest sympathy. Words are hard to express ones feelings at a time like this, but your Dad, Grandpa, Brother and Uncle was a very special person. I will never forgot my visit to the AF base in Germany, the wonderful Airshow and the many evenings we spent walking and talking about what direction our lives were going. May God Bless and keep you in his loving arms at this time in your life. All Our Love, your cousin
Kathie(Haupt)& Donald Brusk
Kathie & Donald Brusk
February 27, 2008
Bud and Cheryl were neighbors and closefriends during his exchange duty with the Navy and for years after. He was an outstanding officer and aviator and we enjoyed seeing them on many occasions. His contributions to the Air Force were significant. Bud was a true Patriot and great American. Our deepest sympathy to Randy, Kristen and the family.
Ted Hewitt
February 27, 2008
Ted Hewitt
February 27, 2008
Lackland, Spence, Greenville. What a trip! Made much more pleasant because Bud Breckner was a classmate. I'll always remember the nice conversation I had with his mom & dad at the Greenville O-Club on graduation morning
Tom Garcia
February 27, 2008
None of us who were there will forget Maj. Gen. Bud "Jaws" Breckner, the tough but fair Chief of Staff, Hq. USAFE. Always the gentleman and an officer who led by example -- all the way. His smile and sense of humor often carried the day. With deep sympathy and fond remembrance. Blessings,
Brigadier General (USAF - Ret.) Gary and Barby Hahn
February 26, 2008
Bud Breckner was my commander at IWS from '73 to '75. He inspired all of us to do more than any of us thought possible. I was blessed to serve with him. My sympathies to the family.
Joseph W. Lewis, Colonel, USAF (Ret)
February 26, 2008
My sincere condolences to my cousins. Bud was a great role model, hero, and happy spirit ot us all.
Alan Heuss
February 26, 2008
Our thoughts and prayers are with at this time.We were his dad's old neighbors in Sebring, OH.
Herman and Evelyn Schmid
Ken and Amy(Schmid) Steele
Amy Steele
February 25, 2008
My sincere condolences to Bud's family. His passing is a great loss to USAF Pilot Training Class 55Q. He will be missed at our reunions,
55Q Classmate.
Bob Goodrich
February 24, 2008
For three years, I hosted Gen Breckner on his visits to Maxwell AFB, AL. He quickly became a beloved figure to me as well as my family. Our country has lost an irreplaceable champion of the "remnants". Farewell and godspeed my friend.
Frank Horton
February 24, 2008
Our condolences to the Bredkner family and friends.
Grant & Betty Mackie
February 24, 2008
William and Shirley Stigers
February 23, 2008
I am so sorry to hear about Bud's passing. Always enjoyed talking to him when he attended the Bronco games with my parents, Harry and Joan Hoth. He will be missed by so many of us.
Joie (Hoth) Stevens
February 22, 2008
I was looking forward to seeing Bud this Fall at our high school class reunion. It was always nice to spend some "catch up" time with him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Sebring High School class of "51"
Charlie Manypenny
February 22, 2008
What a great loss this has been. He will be truly missed by all of us. We have been friends for many years and this is hard to comprehend. Our expressions of sympathy to all.
Marilyn & Bruce MacHardy
February 21, 2008
Great memories of going through Pilot Traing with "Bud" - Lackland ,Spence and Greenville. Our hearts are heavy with his loss. Our deepest sympathy.
Roger and Shirley Thieme
February 21, 2008
Your father was a wonderful man and great friend to our father, Phillip Loring! Pam and Phil
Pam Herring
February 21, 2008
Prayers and condolences to the family. We met General Breckner at our horse riding camp (for his Granddaughter Holli) 5 years ago when our son was considering the Air Force as a career. General Breckner's impact on our son was great. Our son went into to the Air Force out of high school and is proud to serve his country. Blessings and Prayers
Ron and Tamara Strader
February 21, 2008
Clear skies above and beyond.

55-Q Pilot
David A. Brookbank
February 21, 2008
Deepest sympathy to Bud's family
Duke & Pat Castleton
February 21, 2008
All of us and the Nation have lost a Great Guy. My sympathy goes to all his loved ones.
Van Hunn
February 20, 2008
I went through entire pilot training with Bud, all of us recognised that he was special and one day would have a great AF career. My thoughts and sympathy go out to all of you who remember him with fondness. ED HUBER 55-Q USAF RETIRED.
ED HUBERE
February 20, 2008
General Brechner's service to our country made me proud to be a member of 55Q class. He is a great loss to the USAF and all of us. Let us cherish the years he was with us. God bless his family and friends.
Kenneth Thomas
February 20, 2008
MAY "BUD" REST IN PEACE FOREVERMORE
COLEY HUNSUCKER
February 20, 2008
Perez, Ramon H.
Ramon H Perez
February 20, 2008
A classmate with Bud in Pilot class 55-Q. Those were the days...God Bless your flight to eternity.
David A Brookbank Sr
February 20, 2008
How we enjoyed seeing General Breckner stroll down the hallway from his USAFE Chief of Staff's office to our Protocol shop. The first one who spotted him would cry out 'This Bud's for You,' a popular beer slogan at the time. Several years later he got me hired as the Base Commander at Zweibrucken, Germany, one of the bases under his command of the 17th Air Force. One hears it a lot, but he really was a charismatic leader who treated subordinates with caring sensitivity. I loved him and his family should know that his life made a significant difference in our world. I'm honored to have known him.
David Whitlock
February 20, 2008
Bud was one of the finest officers and gentlemen we've ever known. It was a pleasure to have served with him. Our condolences to Randy, Kristen and families.
Jack Sandstrom
February 20, 2008
Robert E. Eggers
February 20, 2008
Our thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
Robert and Sally Meek
February 20, 2008
Bud's passing is a great loss for our class as well as our nation. Although we did not have the privaledge of knowing him during our training years, we did appreciate knowing him at the reunions and we remember the excellent work he did as the sponsor of the reunion at Colorado Springs.
Albert Nichols
February 20, 2008
William & Orma Hazel Lawson
February 20, 2008
Nancy and Arley Fisher
February 20, 2008
I'm sorry for your loss. General Breckner's impact on myself, and senior officer's in the Air Force has been immeasurable. He was a true American hero and will be missed greatly.
Kevin Carr
February 20, 2008
Those of us who knew Bud well and loved him will miss him forever. We are very very sorry and send you our deepest sympathies.
Edie Efthymiou
February 20, 2008
Richard & Lillian Miller
February 20, 2008
Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this time of sorrow.
Phil Chenowerth
February 20, 2008
Emory Strong
February 20, 2008
I was so sorry to hear about Buds passing. The country has lost one of the best of the best. All of 55Q will remember him as a great leader and a great friend. May the Lord bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Jerry Cannon
February 20, 2008
Donald Henry
February 20, 2008
I was so sorry to hear about Buds passing. The world has lost a great man. He was one of the best of the best. I'm sure all 55Q members will remember him as a great friend, a great leader, one to depend on and one who dedicated his life to the defense of this great country that we all love. May the Lord bless you and your family in this time of sorrow. Bud was one of the best. Love Jerry Cannon
Jerry Cannon
February 20, 2008
My sincere condolences to general Breckner's family. Bud was a respected hero, exceptional teacher and wonderful person. He will be dearly missed.
He will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Richard Lester
February 20, 2008
What a great guy! He will be missed by all who knew him.
Diana Brubaker of GCC
February 20, 2008
All who knew Bud will miss him. I will always remember what he did for my career...from the days of the 87 FIS "Red Bulls" to his days as 17th AF Commander. I often think of his advice: "Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way!."
Thomas A. Cardwell, Col, USAF (Ret)
February 20, 2008
Have a great flightBud!!
Scotty Morgan
February 20, 2008
I am so grateful for the service to our country that Bud gave for all of us. May God richly bless the entire family.

Class 55Q
Robert Ash
February 20, 2008
General Breckner was an honored guest speaker and friend to the Commanders' Professional Development School at Maxwell Air Force Base Alabama. After retiring from the Air Force, he continued to give back to the service he loved by mentoring hundreds of Air Force operations group commanders. His last mentoring session at our school was on 11 Feb 08 and is still fresh in our minds and fondly remembered. We will always treasure the times he spent with us.
Commanders' Professional Development School Ira C. Eaker College of Professional Development
February 20, 2008
Robert Ash
February 20, 2008
I've known Gen Breckner for several years and such a dear man. He came to MAFB and was one of our guest speakers. Always a gentleman and the students always loved his presentation. Such a lost. I pray for his children and grandchildren during this hard time.
Helen Ballard
February 20, 2008
I would like to express my deepest sympathy for the loss of your love one and a person that I viewed as a great american icon. I first met Gen Breckner 3.5 years ago here at Ira C. Eaker College for Professional Development. He came to share his leadership experiences with our Group Commander selectees. Over the years he became like family to me and I looked forward to his visits to our school. My life has been richly blessed for having know him. You will be in my thoughts and prayers in the days and weeks to come. Sincerely,
Clair Sheffield, Lt Col USAF NC
February 20, 2008
SCOTT CHAMBERLAND
February 20, 2008
I was so sorry to hear of your loss. The thoughts of many are with you at this time of sorrow.
Larry Rodgers
February 20, 2008
My thoughts and prayers are with MG Breckner and his family. He was one of our guest speakers for a course 5 or 6 times a year for the past four years...He will be truly missed....
MSgt Johnathan Raford
February 20, 2008
A great man, an outstanding Officer in the USAF. I am proud to have been a classmate and a friend. He will be missed, but not forgotten.
Ernest Boehler
February 20, 2008
May light perpetual shine upon him.
Suan and E. J. Braman Lt.Col.USAF Ret
February 20, 2008
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