Gaillard R. “Evil” Peck, Jr. was an Air Force warrior and pioneer. During a military career spanning 26 years, and with experiences ranging from F-4D combat missions over Vietnam to MiG-21 training flights over the Tonopah Test Range, he accumulated 5,000 hours flying T-33s, T-38s, F-4s, RF-4s, F-5s, F-15s, MiG-17s, and MiG-21s. “Evil” was born at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, to Air Corps Lieutenant Gaillard and Lois Peck in 1940. Entering the Air Force Academy in 1958, he graduated in 1962 as a member of the fourth graduating class, known as the original Red Tags.
After graduating first in his pilot training class, “Evil” spent the next four years in Texas as a T-33 and T-38 instructor pilot. He then trained in the F-4 at MacDill AFB, Florida, prior to reporting to the 433d Tactical Fighter Squadron “Satan’s Angels” at Ubon Royal Thai Airbase, Thailand. While at Ubon, “Evil” flew 163 combat missions in the F-4D in North Vietnam and Laos, including over fifty night-missions. At the completion of his combat tour, he was sent back to MacDill AFB for duty as an F-4 pilot and then to Nellis Air Force Base to complete Fighter Weapons School (FWS). “Evil” returned to MacDill AFB in 1970. In July 1972, he was assigned to the F-4 FWS at Nellis AFB, Nevada as an air-to-air instructor, ultimately serving as the air-to-air flight commander.
In 1975, “Evil” reported for duty in the Air Staff’s “fighter shop” in the Operations Directorate at the Pentagon. He managed Red Flag and other overt programs; however, the majority of his work was done at the unacknowledged, classified level. It was in this capacity that he initiated a program he named CONSTANT PEG, a combination of words reflecting the Director of Operations and Readiness’s call sign, “Constant,” and the name of his wife Peggy. After his promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, “Evil” returned to Nellis AFB as the commander of the new 4477th Test and Evaluation Flight (TEF), standing up operations at the Tonopah Test Range (TTR) in the remote desert of Nevada. CONSTANT PEG resulted in the enhancement of the TTR, the initiation of jet fighter operations from that airfield with the 4477 TEF flying MiG-17s and MiG-21s, and served to train Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps aircrews to a degree of proficiency never before achieved, and ultimately demonstrated through US air dominance during Operation DESERT STORM.
“Evil” was a key planner for Saudi Arabia during the Iran-Iraq War and facilitated the introduction of the F-15 into the Royal Saudi Air Force. He was promoted to Colonel in 1982 and, after two years flying F-15s and RF-4s at Kadena Air Base, Japan, he was selected as the Wing Commander of the 26th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Zweibrücken Air Base, Federal Republic of Germany. On 31 July 1988, “Evil” retired from active duty with over 26 years of continuous service. He was inducted into the Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame in November 2013. “Evil’s” decorations include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster, and Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters. “Evil” currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada where he teaches at the USAF Weapons School. Following his wife, Peggy’s, death in 2002, he married the former Carol Smith. He has five children and nine grandchildren. Colonel Peck was first selected as an Eagle by Air Command and Staff College’s Gathering of Eagles in 2014 and subsequently honored in 2016.