Jerry Hoblit was born on September 8, 1936, in St. Louis, Missouri. He entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1954 and was commissioned a 2d Lt in the U.S. Air Force on June 4, 1958. Lt Hoblit graduated from Undergraduate Pilot Training and was awarded his pilot wings at Bainbridge AFB, Georgia, in July 1959, and then attended F-100 Super Sabre Combat Crew Training before being assigned to the 8th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem AB, West Germany, from July 1960 to August 1963. He then served with the 35th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Itazuke and then Yokota AB, Japan, from August 1963 to February 1966, during which time he rotated to Southeast Asia and flew combat missions in September and November 1964, and between May and July 1965. Capt Hoblit next completed F-105 Thunderchief Combat Crew Training, and then served with the 357th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Takhli Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, from December 1966 to May 1967. He attended Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB, California, from June 1967 to July 1968, and then served as a Test Pilot at NAS China Lake, California, from August 1968 to August 1970, before attending Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, Virginia, from August 1970 to January 1971. Col Hoblit then served as a Staff Officer with Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the Pentagon from February 1971 to January 1975, followed by service at the Commander of the 1st Test Squadron and Chief of the Wing Readiness Evaluation Team for the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing at Clark AB in the Philippines from January 1975 to June 1977. His final assignment was as Vice Commander of the 27th Tactical Fighter Wing at Cannon AFB, New Mexico, where he served from August 1980 until his retirement from the Air Force on June 30, 1982.
His Air Force Cross Citation reads:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Jerry N. Hoblit, Captain, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as an F-105F Pilot of the 357th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 355th Tactical Fighter Wing, Tuy Hoa Air Base, Vietnam, SEVENTH Air Force, in aerial action near Thai Nguyen, North Vietnam on 23 April 1967. On that date Captain Hoblit and his Electronic Warfare Officer flew the F-105F Wile Weasel in support of a strike force of fighter-bombers targeted upon the Thai Nguyen steel mill in North Vietnam. Once the flight separated, Captain Hoblit set his element up as a decoy to draw fire from a surface-to-air missile site. After outmaneuvering three missiles, Captain Hoblit led his wingman into a dive bomb to destroy this complex. As he fired his anti-radiation missiles at a second site, yet another site launched a missile and severely damaged the Wild Weasel leader's aircraft. Captain Hoblit diverted attention from the wounded aircraft, narrowly evading missiles fired at him. Despite having expended his bombs and missiles, Captain Hoblit pressed the attack, leading his wingman into a high angle strafe pass in the face of fierce automatic weapons fire; he continued the attack until assured his team leader had safely egressed the area. Captain Hoblit remained behind to assist in the successful rescue of an RF-4C Phantom reconnaissance jet aircrew that had been shot down earlier. When Captain Hoblit finally landed at a forward air base, maintenance personnel confirmed high explosive incendiary rounds of ground fire had damaged his aircraft. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Captain Hoblit reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.