Bruce Stocks was born on October 3, 1932, in Burley, Idaho. He enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Air Force on April 9, 1953, and attended Pre-Cadet Training from April to October 1953, and Aviation Cadet Training from November 1953 to February 1955. He was commissioned a 2d Lt and awarded his pilot wings at Bryan AFB, Texas, on February 7, 1955, and then completed F-86 Sabre Combat Crew Training before serving as an F-86 pilot with the 310th Fighter-Bomber Squadron at Osan AB, South Korea, from December 1955 to November 1956. His next assignment was as an F-100 Super Sabre pilot with the 386th, 453rd, and 454th Fighter-Bomber Squadrons in the 312th Fighter-Bomber Wing at Bunker Hill AFB, Indiana, from November 1956 to July 1957, and then with the 308th Fighter-Bomber Squadron at Turner AFB, Georgia, from August 1957 to March 1959. Capt Stocks then served as an F-100 pilot with the 353rd and 355th Tactical Fighter Squadrons at Myrtle Beach AFB, South Carolina, from March 1959 to September 1961, followed by an Air Force Institute of Technology assignment to complete his bachelor's degree at Texas Tech College from September 1961 to June 1964. Capt Stocks served as an Electronic Engineer and Plant Representative with Headquarters Air Force Contract Management Division at Los Angeles AFB, California, from June 1964 to October 1966, followed by F-105 Thunderchief Combat Crew Training from October 1966 to May 1967. Maj Stocks next served as an F-105 pilot with the 333rd Tactical Fighter Squadron at Takhli Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, from June 1967 to March 1968, and then served as an Air Force Plant Representative with the Air Force Contract Management Division with General Dynamics at Fort Worth, Texas. His next assignment was as an instructor pilot with the 3530th Pilot Training Squadron at Bryan AFB, Texas, followed by service as an FB-111 pilot with the 340th Bomb Group at Carswell AFB, Texas, until he was killed during a training flight on January 8, 1971. Bruce Stocks was buried at the Pleasant View Cemetery in Burley, Idaho.
His Air Force Cross Citation reads:
Major Bruce D. Stocks distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as the pilot of an F-105 Thunderchief near Hanoi, North Vietnam, on 19 November 1967. On that date, Major Stocks led a flight assigned to suppress the surface-to-air missile threat for a twenty-ship strike force that had been directed to attack a strategic rail yard at the edge of Hanoi. He delivered his ordnance on the most threatening site and warned the strike force of imminent SAM attack. Due to his timely warning they were able to evade a salvo of missiles and depart the target area without battle damage. As Major Stocks turned to follow them out, shrapnel from an exploding surface-to-air missile hit his aircraft, wounding him in the chest and shoulder. When his wingman was hit seconds later, Major Stocks, in spite of his wounds, turned back toward the heavily defended target to successfully escort the damaged aircraft to a safe bailout area. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness, Major Stocks reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.