Terry Geloneck was born in 1944 in Detroit, Michigan. After graduating with a bachelor's degree from the University of Alabama, he entered Officer Training School on March 17, 1967, and was commissioned a 2d Lt in the U.S. Air Force at Lackland AFB, Texas, on May 27, 1967. After attending Aerospace Munitions Officer training, Lt Geloneck served as an Aerospace Munitions Officer at Kelly AFB, Texas, from December 1967 to May 1969, followed by Undergraduate Pilot Training from May 1969 to May 1970. He next completed B-52 Stratofortress Combat Crew Training before serving as a B-52 pilot with the 744th Bomb Squadron at Beale AFB, California, from October 1970 until he was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was taken as a Prisoner of War on December 20, 1972. After spending 55 days in captivity, Capt Geloneck was released during Operation Homecoming on February 12, 1973, and was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at Travis AFB, California. He next completed C-141 Starlifter transition training before serving as a C-141 pilot, instructor pilot, and operations officer with the 41st Military Airlift Squadron and 437th Military Airlift Wing at Charleston AFB, South Carolina, from October 1973 to August 1977. Maj Geloneck served on the staff of U.S. Air Forces in Europe at Ramstein AB, West Germany, from September 1977 to July 1980, followed by Air Command & Staff College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, from July 1980 to June 1981. His next assignment was as an instructor and Wing Chief on the faculty of the Air Command & Staff College from June 1981 to June 1984, and then as Commander of the 3534th U.S. Air Force Recruiting Squadron in Salem, Virginia, from June 1984 to June 1986. Col Geloneck's final assignment was as Chief of the Schools Division with Headquarters Air University at Maxwell AFB from June 1986 until his retirement from the Air Force on October 1, 1989. He retired as a Command Pilot with over 3,200 flying hours during his Air Force career. After retiring from the Air Force, Terry flew for Continental Airlines from 1989 to 2004, where he amassed over 13,000 flying hours. He and his wife Jane have been married since 1966, and they have two sons-Chris and Eric; and four grandchildren-John Ryan, Eryn, Braxton, and Cora.
His Distinguished Flying Cross w/Valor Citation reads:
Captain Terry M. Geloneck distinguished himself by heroism while participating in aerial flight as a B-52 Aircraft Commander near Hanoi, North Vietnam, on 20 December 1972. On that date, while participating in one of the most massive conventional bombing raids in the recent history of aerial warfare, and, while attacking his assigned target, Captain Geloneck's aircraft came under heavy and intense fire from surface-to-air missiles, antiaircraft artillery, and airborne interceptors receiving substantial battle damage. Despite loss of his aircraft being imminent, Captain Geloneck showed complete disregard for his personal safety, and continued the attack and as a result of his heroic actions and professional skill the target was destroyed. The outstanding heroism and selfless devotion to duty displayed by Captain Geloneck reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.