Alfred Jeannotte was born on May 2, 1924, in Belcourt, North Dakota. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on July 7, 1943, and was trained as an Aircraft Metalsmith, serving in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Jeannotte left active duty on April 5, 1946, and was commissioned a 2d Lt in the U.S. Air Force through the ROTC program at Montana State University on June 11, 1948, going on active duty beginning February 15, 1949. He next completed Undergraduate Pilot Training and was awarded his pilot wings at Vance AFB, Oklahoma, in February 1950, followed by service with the 10th Troop Carrier Squadron at Rhein-Main AB, Germany, where he served from May 1950 to June 1953. Jeannotte then transferred to the 1501st Air Transport Group at Travis AFB, California, where he served from June 1953 to April 1956, followed by service with the 1141st Special Activities Squadron in West Germany until February 1957. His next assignment was with Headquarters Air Training Command at Randolph AFB, Texas, from February 1957 to August 1961, followed by service on the staff of Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe from August 1961 to September 1964. Col Jeannotte served with Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the Pentagon from September 1964 to February 1968, and then as a C-123 Provider pilot with the 310th Air Commando Squadron at Phan Rang AB in the Republic of Vietnam from February 1968 to January 1969. He served at McClellan AFB, California, from January 1969 to July 1970, and then with the 6964th Computer Services Squadron at Kelly AFB, Texas, from July 1970 until his retirement from the Air Force on May 31, 1974.
His Air Force Cross Citation reads:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Alfred J. Jeanotte, Jr., Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as a C-123 aircraft commander of the 311th Air Commando Squadron, 315th Special Operations Wing, DaNang Air Base, Vietnam, SEVENTH Air Force, in action at Kham Duc, Republic of Vietnam on 12 May 1968. On that date, Colonel Jeanotte and his crew landed at Kham Duc to evacuate the last United States personnel prior to abandoning the airfield to hostile forces. In spite of heavy hostile small arms, mortar, and artillery fire, and the fact that the airstrip was essentially under hostile forces control, Colonel Jeanotte and his crew landed and located these personnel. Although unable to complete the pickup due to the location of these personnel and his inadequate fuel supply, Colonel Jeanotte was able to direct a follow-on aircraft to a pickup point which allowed a successful evacuation. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Lieutenant Colonel Jeanotte reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.