Born of humble beginnings on July 17, 1933, in Warren County, Kentucky, Bobbie G. Pedigo became a man of distinction and worthy of recognition for his distinguished service to his country in the U.S. Army and federal service. The Bowling Green native is recognized by the Army Aviation Association of America for accumulating approximately 2000 hours of flight time – 1200 on fixed wing and 800 on rotary wing.
Bobbie joined the Kentucky National Guard as a private in 1951. A decade later, on Oct. 1, 1961, 1st Lt. Pedigo activated with the Bowling Green unit and was stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky for a year assignment. He elected to stay on active duty. He applied and was selected for fixed wing flight school at Fort Rucker, Alabama which he completed in 1963. His next duty tour was at Hanau, Germany with the 503rd Aviation Battalion. While in Germany he transitioned into the Bell OH-13 Sioux aircraft and Bell UH-1 Iroquois at Oberschleißheim, near Munich.
From 1966 – 1968 he commanded the 341st Airfield Operations Detachment, 25th Aviation Battalion building the unit from Fort Benning, Georgia and moving it to Chu Chi, Vietnam. The refueling facility he and his soldiers built became the prototype for refueling aircraft throughout Vietnam.
Following the Chu Chi tour, he returned to Fort Rucker and became an Instructor Pilot in the Cessna O-1 Bird Dog aircraft and the deHavilland L-20 Beaver aircraft. He is rated in the following aircraft: Cessna O-H1 Bird Dog; deHavilland L-20 Beaver; Cessna 172 Skyhawk; Cessna T-41 Mescalero; Beechcraft Baron T42A Cochise; Bell OH-13 Sioux, and Bell UH-1 Iroquois.
Before returning to Vietnam in 1970, he graduated from the University of Southern California’s Aviation Safety Course. From there he received orders to Bien Hoa as the Executive Officer, XO, 145th Combat Aviation Battalion, “Old Warriors” and subsequent assignment to command the 68th Assault Helicopter Company “Top Tigers.”
After his Vietnam tours, he graduated in 1973 from the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He was then sent again to Fort Rucker where he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1975. His next assignment was as the Professor of Military Science at the University of Kentucky. He was inducted as a Kentucky Colonel, the highest title of honor bestowed by the Governor of Kentucky, in 1978. Bobbie retired from the military at Fort Knox in 1980.
Following his military career, he served 21-years as a civilian in the U.S. federal service. Highlights include his role with the 11th Armored Calvary Regiment, “Blackhorse” in Fulda, Germany as the Deputy Garrison Commander 1983-1989, and later Deputy Garrison Commander in Wiesbaden 1999-2003. Bobbie retired from government service at Fort Campbell, Kentucky with a cumulative 51-years of service to his country.
Lt Col Pedigo died in Bowling Green on June 17, 2022. He is s survived by his wife JoyceAnn (Kirby) Pedigo, his daughters Virginia Morehead of Bowling Green (partner Chris Grinstead), Laura Helems of Nettie, West Virginia, Michele Garcia of Bowling Green (husband Ernest), and Regina Galvin of Great Falls, Virginia (husband Jim); and his sister Shirley Pedigo Veazey of Bowling Green and brother Eddie of Lake Mary, Florida.