Chief Master Sgt. Fredrick Gantzer will have a B-52 hangar named after him at Minot Air Force Base in Minot, North Dakota, reports the Weirton Daily Times.
Gantzer was stationed in Savannah, Georgia, Fairbanks, Alaska, Japan and Minot, North Dakota. He also did two tours in Vietnam.
He spent more than 30 years in the U.S. Air Force, but Gantzer's love of aviation started long before his military career. As a teenage boy, he took flying lessons at the Ohio County Airport. the day after his high school graduation he went to basic training, where he spent his 18th birthday, said Thomas Gantzer, Fredrick’s brother.
"He spent 31 years up there in the Air Force — a lot of time away from his family in service to our country," Thomas told the paper. "He was my hero. …He was everything an American should be."
Thomas remembered his brother as being "understanding, loving, caring and very generous." "He mentored so many young adults" and "he’d help anybody and everybody — total strangers, he’d help."
Gantzer retired from the Air Force and continued his career in aviation at Lockheed Martin and the Minot Municipal Airport before passing away at 74 in January 2015.