Earl J. Wiese, Jr.

WieseEarl J. Wiese, Jr. started out from Duluth, Minnesota, joining the U. S. Air Force early in 1960. After Basic training and Technical School he found himself assigned to Eglin AFB, Florida, working in Armament and Electronics Maintenance.

It was while at Eglin that Earl received notification that he had been selected for Class 63A, Officer Candidate School entering April 1962. At that time he was married to Charlotte and had two children. They added a third child before long.

After OCS he attended Electronic Warfare Training, at Mather AFB, CA. Subsequent assignments included (not necessarily in order): Toul-Rossier, France (EB-66 Electronic Warfare crew member); Tahkli RTAFB, Thailand (EB-66 EW Crew Member); Mather AFB, CA (Electronic Warfare Training Instructor); HQ USAF, Military Personnel Center, Randolph AFB, Texas (Rated Manning Program Office); Mountain Home AFB, Idaho (F-111 EWO/STAN EVAL); HQ TAC Langley AFB, VA (Chief Commitments Branch TAC/DOO); and Eielson AFB, Alaska (Chief Air To Ground Ranges, HQ SQ CMDR).

During his service he completed the Squadron Officer School and Air Command and Staff College as well as completing his Master’s degree in Public Administration. His awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal w/2 OLC and the Air Medal w/70LC.

Earl retired on July 31, 1984 after 24 ½ years service, as a Major.

He began his civilian career as Operations Manager and later as Director of the Parks and Recreation Department in the North Star Borough of Fairbanks Alaska. In September 2002 (after enduring five different Mayors and a term as President of the Alaska Recreation and Parks Assoc.) he decided to retire.

He and Charlotte have remained in Alaska.


Major Earl Julius Wiese Jr. was born in Duluth, Minnesota, on June 18, 1939, and died Nov. 6, 2016, in Fairbanks.

Earl was a career officer in the U.S. Air Force, enlisting in 1960 and retiring as a major in July 1984. After completing basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, in 1962, Earl was selected for Officer Candidate School, graduating in Class 63A. After completing OCS, Earl was assigned to many military installations which allowed him to serve his country in Florida, California, Idaho, Alabama and Virginia.

He was in the first cadre of volunteers to deploy to Takhli Air Base, Thailand, to fly electronic reconnaissance and radar-jamming missions over North Vietnam in support of U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy bombing missions. Earl was then assigned to HQ Tactical Air Command as chief of the Commitments Branch in the Directorate of Operations. His terminal assignment was at Eielson Air Force Base, where he was in charge of air-to-ground gunnery and bombing ranges.

During his Air Force career, Earl completed Squadron Officer School and Air Command and Staff College, as well as his master’s degree in public administration. His military awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross, three meritorious service medals and eight air medals.

Earl fell in love with Alaska and decided to retire from the Air Force and remain in Alaska. He began his civilian career as operations manager, and later, was director of the Parks and Recreation Department in the Fairbanks North Star Borough in Sept. 2002, after serving five different mayors, and a term as president of the Alaska Recreation and Parks Association. Earl retired from military and public service to purse his love of flying in his own float plane. He was an avid sports man and enjoyed RV traveling across Alaska.

Earl was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 44 years, Charlotte, in 2003. He is survived by his three sons, Earl, Craig and Brian. Also mourning his passing are his grandchildren, Sean, Christopher, Erin and Chase.

A memorial service was held at the Zion Lutheran Church on Wednesday, November 9th.