Chief Boyles Pilots Last Flight

Former Hurricane Councilman Retires

David Boyles

After 41 years of selfless service, to our country, including more than 10,000 flying hours as a C-130 loadmaster, Chief Master Sergeant David “Dave” Boyles, of Hurricane, is entering retirement.

Boyles entered active duty as a security specialist (current day security forces) in June, 1976. He attended basic military training and technical school at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, with additional training at Camp Bullis, Texas. He was stationed at Minor AFB, North Dakota; Balikesir, Turkey; and Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota while on active duty. After leaving active duty, Boyles later joined the West Virginia Air National Guard in April, 1981. He cross-trained into the unit as a loadmaster on the C-130E model and began working full-time for the 130th AW.

Along the way, Boyles found time to serve the City of Hurricane as a council member and a planning commission member.

While serving the WVANG, Boyles advanced in his career field by working on the C-130H models (H1-H3) over a span of 20 years. He has deployed in support of numerous military missions including Desert Storm, Desert Shield, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Provide Promise, and Operation Coronet Oak. Additionally, Boyles has a long flight history, having logged more than 10,745 hours of flight time on the C-130 airframe.

The retiring Chief described his most memorable military flight of his career, “I remember flying into Kuwait City during Operation Desert Storm at night. The oil fields were on fire, and once we dropped below the clouds, it looked like the gates of hell had opened up. It reminded me of the painting from Dante’s Inferno; that’s something that I will always remember.”

Col. Johnny Ryan, 130th AW commander, provided the perfect description of Boyles’ service, saying, “Boyles has been an example of what is a ‘Chiefs’ Chief.’ He truly cares about the people that he has the honor to serve with, and has had a meaningful impact on all of those fortunate enough to work with him. We wish him all of the very best and are thankful for his many, many years of service.”

Upon reflecting on the best advice he could provide to a young airman today, Boyles offers, “The organization depends on them, no matter how miniscule they think their job might be. We’re all parts of a puzzle; once we start removing pieces, the mission begins to suffer as well. Every job that an airman performs is just as important as the next.”

Publisher’s note: A news release from Staff Sergeant Adam Juchniewicz and photographs by Captain Holli Nelson contributed to this article.