General Dan Cherry | Edward Daniel Cherry Biography
Edward Daniel “Dan” Cherry is the author of My Enemy, My Friend, a story of reconciliation from the Vietnam War. This inspiring book chronicles an intense 1972 dogfight between Dan’s F-4 Phantom and a North Vietnamese MiG-21 and his subsequent meeting and friendship with the MiG pilot, Nguyen Hong My.
Dan travels extensively giving speeches and promoting his book in an effort to help Vietnam War veterans bring closure to their war experiences. He is also Executive Vice President of Aviation Heritage Park, an educational facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky dedicated to inspiring the youth of today by exhibiting aviation artifacts that represent the careers of distinguished aviators from South Central Kentucky.
Dan developed his leadership and administrative skills during his career as a fighter pilot in the United States Air Force. He entered the Air Force in 1959 as an Aviation Cadet and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1960. His military credentials include flying 295 combat missions during the Vietnam War and shooting down a North Vietnamese MiG-21. During his Air Force career, he held the positions of
- Commander and Leader of the Air Force Thunderbirds;
- Commander of Moody Air Force Base, Georgia;
- Inspector General of the Pacific Air Forces
- Commander of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing flying the F-16 and
- Commander of the Air Force Recruiting Service
He earned several military awards and decorations including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star with one oak leaf cluster, the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross with nine oak leaf clusters and the Air Medal with thirty four oak leaf clusters. He completed his service in the Air Force with the rank of Brigadier General and was inducted into the Kentucky Aviation Hall of Fame in October 2000. Dan has also served in state government as Secretary of the Kentucky Justice Cabinet.