Larry J. Pankau

PankauUSAF 1958-1978

Pilot – Flew B-52, F-100, KC-135, T-39 Sabreliner, UH-1, Taught pilot training in T-38 and T-37 aircraft.

300 combat missions in North and South Viet Nam as well as Cambodia and Laos.

Presented DFC by President Johnson. Presented the Vietnamese Cross of Air Gallantry with Gold Wing by President Thieu of South Viet Nam. Twenty air medals.

Staff jobs as a Force Applications Officer at SAC HQ, SAC Briefing Officer, Pentagon staff officer in strategic weapon systems. Worked for a Navy Admiral in Crystal City, VA for the Joint Cruise Missile Projects Office. Squadron Cmdr. Chief of Operations Plans.

Selected for Lt. Col. but turned it down to begin a new career.

Worked in executive positions at General Dynamics, Martin Marietta and TRW. (Manager of aircraft modifications and Marketing Director of Navy products.)

President of ISA, Inc., an aerospace consulting company in San Diego and Los Angeles.

Worked as a member of the San Diego Republican Committee and in the campaign for President Bush Senior. Worked in his Administration in an SES position in the Pentagon.

Last position was with UBS PaineWebber involved with all of their investment products but primarily involved with estate planning, annuities and insurance. Retired December 2002 as a Senior Vice President.

Married with five children and five grandchildren.

Education: BS Aerospace Engineering, MA Management and an MBA (almost all compliments of the USAF).


Larry J. Pankau, Major USAF (Ret.), died on Wednesday, August 6, 2008, at his home in San Diego.

He suffered from heart disease and had a short battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 69 years old.

Larry was born on February 1, 1939, in Dickson, Tennessee, the son of Frances Elizabeth VonBergen and Herbert Finley Robinson. He grew up in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area and graduated from Central High School in 1957. He attended the University of Chattanooga before starting a distinguished career in the United States Air Force in August of 1958.

Larry graduated as a second lieutenant in 1963 and completed his pilot training in the spring of 1964. In 1965, he was a member of the 367th Bomb Squadron, 306th Bomb wing that was part of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) based at McCoy AFB in Orlando, Fla. For five years he alternated duty between Vietnam and SAC. He also flew over 250 B-52 combat missions over Vietnam from 1965 through 1970 from bases in Guam and Thailand, known as Operation Arc Light missions. He retired from the Air Force in 1978 as a Major with 20 years of distinguished service and over 9,000 flight hours.

After retiring from the Air Force and relocating to the San Diego area, Larry had several professions in the defense industry for General Dynamics. He also started and ran an executive search firm that specialized in the defense industry. Larry was Vice President of Investments for UBS/Paine Webber up until 2002 when he retired.

Larry had a deep love for golf, fishing, and poker, but golf was his passion. He had just recently been a volunteer at the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Frances Elizabeth VonBergen; and father, Herbert Finley Robinson; sisters, Ann and Meryl; brother, John.

Larry is survived by his wife, Martha; daughters, Cindy Carmack, Beaufort, S.C., and Susan Pankau, San Diego; sons, Chris Pankau, Ringgold, Ga., Chuck Pankau, Bentonville, Ark., and Larry Jr., Dalton, Ga.; five grandchildren, John, Aubrie, Ryan, Colton and Ben; and brother, Bill, Hiram, Ga.

Funeral service will be 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22, at Chattanooga National Cemetery.