Michael "Cisco" Francisco was born on July 29, 1945. He entered the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1963 and graduated with a commission as a 2d Lt on June 7, 1967. Lt Francisco completed Undergraduate Pilot Training and was awarded his pilot wings at Moody AFB, Georgia, in October 1968, and was assigned to the 47th Tactical Fighter Squadron at MacDill AFB, Florida, for F-4 Phantom II Combat Crew Training as an Aircraft Commander until June 1969. He next served with the 16th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing at Eglin AFB, Florida, from June 1969 to June 1971. Capt Francisco began flying combat missions in Southeast Asia with the 421st Tactical Fighter Squadron at DaNang AB in the Republic of Vietnam in June 1971, and as a Stormy FAST FAC with the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing. In May 1972, he transferred to the 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Udorn Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, where he served until December 1972, completing a total of 294 and a half combat missions (he was forced to eject and rescued on April 28, 1972). His next assignment was to Luke AFB, Arizona with the 311th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron as an F-4 Instructor Pilot and with the 555th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron as an F-15A Eagle Instructor Pilot and Flight Commander, where he served from January 1973 to April 1978. He then attended the F-15 Fighter Weapons School at Nellis AFB in the 433rd Fighter Weapons Squadron. Maj Francisco served as Weapons Officer and Deputy Commander for Operations of the 4484th Fighter Weapons Squadron at Eglin AFB from October 1978 to September 1982. LtCol Francisco then served in Europe as Deputy Commander for Operations with the 32nd Tactical Fighter Squadron in the Netherlands from September 1982 to June 1985. After completing Air War College, he served in the Pentagon from June 1986 to June 1988. Col Francisco then served as the Commander of the 32nd Tactical Fighter Group and Installation Commander from June 1988 to July 1989, when he became the Vice Commander of the 66th Electronic Combat Wing at Sembach AB, Germany, where he served until May 1991. His next assignment was with Headquarters Air Force Intelligence Command and the Air Force Electronic Warfare Center from May 1991 to July 1993, followed by an assignment to Air Force Space Command to establish the Air Force Space Warfare Center from July 1993 to July 1994. Col Francisco's final assignment was with the National Reconnaissance Office, as Director of Space Plans and Applications of the Directorate of Military Support in the Pentagon, where he served until retiring from the Air Force on July 31, 1995. Mike Francisco died on Veterans Day, November 11, 2011.
His Air Force Cross Citation reads:
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Section 8742, Title 10, United States Code, awards the Air Force Cross to Captain Michael C. Francisco for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as an F-4E Aircraft Commander in Southeast Asia on 6 April 1972. On that date, Captain Francisco entered North Vietnam on four separate occasions to lead F-4 fighter-bombers against surface-to-air-missile sites threatening air operations in South Vietnam. With complete disregard for his own personal safety and in the face of extremely heavy antiaircraft fire and hostile surface-to-air-missiles, Captain Francisco repeatedly descended to dangerously low altitudes to insure the destruction of two missile sites in North Vietnam. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Captain Francisco reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.