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The Tailhook Educational Foundation

2018 Scholarships

Oskar Searfus

Oskar Searfus

CDR CLYDE RAY WELCH AND NANCY MACDONALD RODGER WELCH MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP

Sponsored by

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

Awarded To

Oskar Searfus

Durango, Colorado

University of New Mexico

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 Task Force 77 embarked in USS Shangri-La (CVA-38).  He flew F-4Us, F-9s, F-8s and A-4s 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 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 several degrees in Psychology.  Nancy served as a 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 United States Naval Academy 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.