Mele "Mel" Vojvodich

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Mele Vojvodich Jr. (March 28, 1929 – November 3, 2003) was an American aviator and Major General in the United States Air Force.[1] He was one of the initial five pilots who flew reconnaissance missions in the Lockheed_A-12 surveillance aircraft over North Vietnam for the CIA.[2]

Early Life[edit]

Mele Vojvodich Jr. was born in Steubenville, Ohio to Mele Vojvodic who was Serbian. He graduated from Wintersville High School in Ohio.[3]

Military Service[edit]

Korean Conflict[edit]

He would see action in the Korean Conflict flying the Lockheed F-80C Shooting Star and the North American F-86. Vojvodich flew a reconnaisance mission 300 miles into communist China to detect the presence of Soviet-made bombers. Vojvodich completed a total of 125 combat missions.[4]

USAF Career High Lights[edit]

Vojvodich earned his pilot wings in 1950 at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. Vojvodich served as Republic F-84 pilot and aircraft commander in the early 1950s at Turner Air Force Base in Georgia. He completed Squadron Officer School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama six years after earning his wings. He accumulated 6,000 flying hours in his career. In 1971 he completed studies at the National War College at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington DC. Vojvodich was promoted to Major General on 1 May 1980. He retired in March 1983.[5]

CIA Recon Pilot Career[edit]

Vojvodich volunteered and was selected to fly the Lockheed A-12 for the CIA. He was transferred out of the USAF and "sheep dipped" into the CIA to fly as Government service employee. He would later be reinstated in the USAF. [6]

Military Awards[edit]

Some of his worthy military awards include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross and the Intelligence Star for Valor presented by the CIA.[7]


Vojvodich passed away in Schertz, Texas from leukemia in his home 3 November 2003.[8]

See Also[edit]





  • Robarge, David Archangel: CIA's Supersonic A-12 Reconnaissance Aircraft - From Drawing Board to Factory Floor Central Intelligence Agency

External Links[edit]