Hall of Fame Inductee
Jerry LeBarron graduated in 1967 from Osseo-Fairchild High School and in 1969 enlisted in the U.S. Navy. After completing Aviation "A" school, he was assigned to Airborne Early Warning Squadron One, VW-1, "The Typhoon Trackers," based at NAS Agana, Guam. Jerry served as crewmember on a Lockheed L-1049 Constellation, WC-121. After completion of his first typhoon weather season, Jerry was absorbed into Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron One, VQ-1. VQ-1's mission agenda consisted of flying "special operations" out of Japan and Vietnam. Jerry's service awards include the Combat Action Ribbon and the Navy Commendation Medal.
Jerry began taking flying lessons while in the Navy and belonged to Navy flying clubs in Japan and Guam.
After Jerry's four-year tour the Navy offered him a college degree package and flight training package to stay, and although he loved his Navy time he had other plans and returned home to Wisconsin. Jerry continued his flight/maintenance training and attended UW-Eau Claire. He was employed at Gibson Aviation Service, where he took on airport operations, flight instructing and aircraft maintenance responsibilities. After four years in Wisconsin, Jerry transferred to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Following graduation from Embry-Riddle, Jerry worked on the L-1011 program for Lockheed in Burbank, California. Placed into a management program after only six months, Jerry soon became Lockheed's youngest commercial aircraft engineering manager with a reputation for rejuvenating organizations into top-performers. The Airline Transport Association (ATA) selected one of the systems co-developed by Jerry's organization as an industry standard for Boeing, McDonald-Douglas, Airbus, and Lockheed. He moved to Rockwell International after L-1011 production ceased, for the restart of the B-1B Bomber program, ultimately having engineering responsibility for the B-1B flight control system.
While at Lockheed and Rockwell, Jerry was an active flight instructor. He founded LeBarron Aviation Inc. at Burbank Airport, a state-of-the-art facility offering advanced flight training. LeBarron Aviation maintained a "who's-who" clientele, which included the entertainment/film industries.
In 1987, Jerry received an invitation from Northrop Aircraft to join a "special project" - the B-2 Stealth Bomber program. Jerry worked on the B-2 for almost 14 years, with assignments in Engineering Management, Program Management, and Flight Test Management. During his additional seven years at Northrop Grumman, Jerry held management roles on numerous other programs. Jerry has been recognized for numerous achievements during his Aerospace career.
Jerry lives in Waunakee on the Waunakee Airport with his Taylorcraft F-21B. He enjoys time with family, traveling, writing, and working on vintage sports cars and aircraft. He remains an active consultant to Northrop since retiring from Northrop Grumman in 2008.