Mike Gilroy was born on June 4, 1936, in Menlo Park, California. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on December 11, 1953, and was trained as a Jet Engine Mechanic. Gilroy left active duty briefly and served in the Air Force Reserve from December 6, 1957, to March, 4, 1958. He entered Officer Training School at Lackland AFB, Texas, in June 1960, and was commissioned a 2d Lt on September 16, 1960. Lt Gilroy next completed Undergraduate Navigator Training at Harlingen AFB, Texas, and was awarded his Navigator Wings in August 1961, followed by Electronic Warfare Officer (EWO) Training and B-52 Stratofortress Combat Crew Training. He then served as an EWO on B-52s with the 9th Bomb Squadron at Carswell AFB, Texas, from August 1962 to May 1966. During this time, Capt Gilroy flew 19 combat missions in Southeast Asia between June and November 1965. He next completed F-105 Thunderchief Combat Crew Training and Wild Weasel Training before being assigned to the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing at Takhli Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, from July 1966 to June 1967, where he flew another 100 combat missions. His next assignment was as a Wild Weasel EWO Instructor with the 4537th Fighter Weapons Squadron at Nellis AFB, Nevada, where he served from June 1967 to August 1969. During this time he deployed to South Korea in January and February 1968 in support of the U.S.S. Pueblo Incident. He attended Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, from August 1969 to July 1970, and then served as an Electronic Warfare Officer with the 79th Tactical Fighter Squadron and the 20th Tactical Fighter Wing at RAF Upper Heyford, England, from July 1970 to June 1973. His next assignment was as Commander of Detachment 100 of the United States Logistics Group in Eskisehir, Turkey, from June 1973 to May 1974. Col Gilroy served with Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the Pentagon from March 1976 to June 1978, and he served as Commander of the Air Force Electronic Warfare Center from July 1980 to July 1983. He next served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans with Headquarters Electronic Security Command from July 1983 to July 1984, before transferring to Brussels, Belgium, where he served with NATO from July 1984 until his retirement from the Air Force on February 1, 1987. After leaving active duty he served as a City Councilman and then Mayor of Gilroy, California. Mike Gilroy died on November 13, 2013.
His Air Force Cross Citation reads:
Captain Kevin A. Gilroy distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism as Electronics Warfare Officer on an F-105 aircraft engaged in a pre-strike, missile suppression mission in North Vietnam on 10 March 1967. On that date, Captain Gilroy guided his pilot in attacking and destroying a surface-to-air missile installation protecting one of the most important industrial complexes in North Vietnam. He accomplished this feat even after formidable hostile defenses had destroyed the lead aircraft and had crippled a second. Though his own aircraft suffered extensive battle damage and was under constant attack by MIG interceptors, anti-aircraft artillery, automatic weapons, and small arms fire, Captain Gilroy aligned several ingenious close range attacks on the hostile defenses at great risk to his own life. Due to his technical skill, the attacks were successful and the strike force was able to bomb the target without loss. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship and aggressiveness, Captain Gilroy has reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.