After graduating from high school in 1948, my choices were stay home and work on the farm or go to college. I had three uncles who were Purdue engineers. I knew what working on the farm was like and knew what my uncles were doing. Seemed like a no brainer so I headed for Purdue.
At that time there were about 11,000 students on campus. My dad had an airplane and I really enjoyed flying so I opted for a career in aviation. I selected Air Transportation Engineering for my degree and AFROTC. I stayed with the four year ROTC program for two reasons. I wanted to become an Air Force pilot and I wanted the ROTC extra pay as I was working my way through college. I worked in the fraternity kitchen for my room and board and went home on the weekends as needed to work on the farm. The degree and ROTC training continue to be very helpful as I walk down the road of life. It was a good choice.
Read more: Wallace “Jim” Dillingham: I am Still Flying a Little With Over 17,750 Flying Hours