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The Tailhook Educational Foundation

2017 Scholarships

Olivia Gilliam

Olivia Gilliam


CAPT Rodger L. Welch, USN(Ret), Mr. Scott Welch and family friends

Sponsored by

Awarded To

Olivia Gilliam

Alexandria, Virginia

Scholarship Description

Clyde Ray “Tex” Welch hailed from Somerville, Texas. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy (USNA) in 1951 and reported to USS Essex (CVA-9) during the Korean War. His aviation career continued in TF-77 embarked in USS Shangri-La (CVA-38). He flew F9s, A4s and F-8s while deployed from NAS Miramar and NAS Lemoore. His combats awards included Distinguished Flying Cross and numerous Air medals with Combat “V” for valor. CDR Tex Welch was killed in action while serving as the VA-164 Ghostrider Executive Officer in CVW-16 on board USS Oriskany (CVA-34) in the Tonkin Gulf 26 October 1966. Nancy MacDonald Rodger Welch was born in Philadelphia. She met her husband Clyde in Tulsa Oklahoma while serving as an American Airlines stewardess. After Clyde was killed, Nancy earned degrees in Psychology. Nancy served as a U.S. Government senior U.S. Navy civilian for 20+ years as a Marriage Family and Child Counselor (MFCC) and retired in 1993 as the Director of Family Services at Naval Air Station Miramar, California. Nancy was the first female USNA Blue and Gold Officer as well as the first female to make a Western Pacific deployment return onboard a U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier (USS Constellation, CV-64). She joined the ship in Singapore and provided returning sailors critical family counseling for their transition back into their families and homes.

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