WERLICH, Arthur J.

USAF Lt. Colonel, Base Operations chief, 862nd Combat Support Group, Minot AFB, N. Dak. (dec.)

Arthur Werlich

Arthur J. Werlich was born in Minneapolis, MN, in 1928, and attended Christian Brothers College, completing an engineering degree at South Dakota State College in 1946. He enlisted in the Army in Aug. 1945, served in Japan, and was discharged on 12 Jan. 1950. He enlisted in the Air Force on 13 Jan. 1950 receiving a commission as 2nd Lieutenant, and served in Korea from Dec. 1951 to June 1952, flying B-25s, B-50s, including 25 combat missions in the B-29. Promoted to 1st Lieutenant in 1952 at Biggs AFB, TX (SAC), as a B-50 pilot and combat crew trainer. Went to Air Command & Staff School at Maxwell AFB, AL. In Jan. 1953, transferred to Vance AFB, OK, as Flying Instructor and Flight Training Officer. Promoted to Captain in 1955 and attended the Army Information School. Started the "Vance News Review," which was broadcast over the Enid, OK, radio station, while conducting a jet noise program and maintaining an instructor rating in the B-52 and T-33 aircraft. Transferred to Dow AFB, ME, in 1957 with the 341st Air Refueling Squadron and served as an Aircraft Commander, briefing officer, and information Services Officer, while maintaining pilot status in the Boeing KC-97 Stratotanker. Transferred to Torrejon Air Base, Spain (SAC), in 1959 as Chief, Internal Information Division. Served as Aide-de-Camp to Maj. Gen. Ryan, and Maj. Gen. David Wade. Assigned to the Office Aerospace Research in Washington, D.C., in 1962 as Assistant Chief, Internal Information and Community Relations Division. Continued to maintain flying proficiency as a voluntary crew member transporting the Commander, OAR, Maj. Gen. Don Ostrander. Became Assistant Chief, Public & Internal Information Division. Promoted to Major in 1964 and assigned to Offutt AFB, NE, in January 1965 as Instructor Pilot T-29. Promoted to Lt. Colonel in July 1968 and transferred to Minot AFB, ND, as Base Operations Officer. Also, appointed as Minot AFB UFO project investigating officer per AFR 80-17. Developed a T-29 aircraft ground school and flight training program. Recommended for staff officer or commander, he retired from the AF in June 1970 and passed away in March 1992. He is survived by his daughters, Melody and Kim.

During the UFO events, Werlich's then-teenage daughters recall being awoken early in the morning by a telephone call at home informing their father of the UFO observations. This was his first official UFO investigation as Minot AFB UFO project investigating officer. Over the next few days he interviewed witnesses, compiled and collated the Basic Reporting Data, while providing his comments and analysis. He submitted the Basic Reporting Data to Project Blue Book, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio; and Gen. Hollingsworth at SAC headquarters, for debriefing the Vice Commander in Chief, Lt. Gen. Compton.