When you walk into the home of Mr. Raymond Fredette, it is likely that you will first notice his collection of model airplanes. Big airplanes, small airplanes, antique airplanes, military airplanes… you name it, Ray has it. For most people, this would seem different but for a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, it is nothing out of the ordinary.
At 94 years old, Colonel Fredette is a native of a small town in Massachusetts. When the Colonel found out about Alice Lloyd College, he felt that it was something he could relate to. “If it hadn’t been for the GI Bill, I wouldn’t have gotten my education. I was given an opportunity, and I want to give that to others if I can,” he says. He became invested in the College when he saw we were able to give an opportunity to those students who may not otherwise receive a college education by offering a tuition guarantee.
Upon graduating high school, he began his career in the United States Air Force. During World War 2, he flew 31 combat missions over Germany with the Eighth Air Force. It was during his service to our country that he met his late wife, Mrs. Pamela Margaret Fredette, of Derby, England.
After returning to the states, he attended Tufts University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, where he earned degrees in History and International Relations, respectively. In 1951, Colonel Fredette was called back to active duty to serve as an intelligence officer in Morocco, Germany, and Vietnam.
When talking about life after the Air Force, Colonel Fredette jokingly says, “I never had a real job. You know, I served in the Air Force and wrote books… never really a true civilian job.” After publishing his book on the origins of strategic bombing in World War I, The Sky on Fire, the Colonel became the official biographer of Charles Lindbergh! While he claims he never had a “real job,” he certainly had an interesting life!
Forty years later, Colonel Fredette is still researching and writing. He has published many articles on aviation history and has a collection of books in his home that would rival that of your local library. He says, “Knowledge is power. And, education, that’s something they can never take away from you.”
At Alice Lloyd College, we are thankful for the friendship and support of Colonel Raymond Fredette. Not only are we thankful for his service to us, but for his willingness to make the sacrifices necessary to defend and protect the freedom that we are blessed to enjoy!