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Former 171st Air Refueling Wing Commander inducted into Pa Air National Guard Hall of Fame

  • Published
  • By Maj. Karen Bogdan
  • 171 AW/PA
Brig. Gen. (Retired) William J. Boardley, originally of Washington, Pa, was inducted into the Pennsylvania Air National Guard Hall of Fame, Sept. 14, 2014, in recognition of his impressive 34-year military career. The induction took place during a Flight of Freedom Ceremony held in Horsham, Pennsylvania.

Induction into the PaANG Hall of Fame is considered the highest honor conferred upon an individual for their contributions to the Pa. Department of Military and Veterans Affairs or the Pa. National Guard. There are just 56 members of this prestigious group, which was established in 1988.

Boardley's military career included six years in the U.S. Air Force, active duty, and 28 years with the 171st Air Refueling Wing of the PaANG, located in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. Having retired from the 171st in 2006, Boardley and his wife, Carol, currently reside in Hopewell Township, Pennsylvania.

Boardley's career with the 171st ARW began in 1978 when he left active duty with qualifications as a KC-135 instructor navigator. At that time, the 171st had just converted to the KC-135 and Boardley's experience and skills were an asset to the Wing. Boardley worked his way up from Operations & Plans Officer to Chief Navigator, Squadron Operations Officer and eventually Wing Commander in 1995.

During his tenure with the 171st, Boardley participated in numerous deployments and operations, such as the Gulf War, Allied Force, Iraqi Freedom and many more. His personal achievements are marked by the receipt of such honors as the Bronze Star.

It was under Boardley's guidance and leadership, during his 11 years as Wing Commander, that the 171st ARW was recognized as being one of the elite units in the Air National Guard and U.S. Air Force with the award of such honors as the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (twice), the Maj. Gen. Malcolm Armstrong Trophy for being the most outstanding ANG unit in 21st Air Force (twice) and the Governor's Unit Citation Award. Other notable awards include Brig. Gen. William Spruance Flight Safety Award (twice), USAF Flight Safety Plaque, the National Guard Association's Curtis N. "Rusty" Metcalf Trophy, Maj. Gen. John Pesch Flight Safety Trophy, and the Distinguished Flying Unit Plaque (twice).