Colonel Michael Cabell Francisco
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Colonel Michael Cabell Francisco "Cisco", 66, of Niceville, Fla., passed away peacefully at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, Fla. on Nov. 11, 2011. He had extensive complications from a severe stroke suffered Jan. 8, 2011.

Colonel Francisco was born July 29, 1945 at Brook Army Hospital, San Antonio, Texas, to William and Nancy Francisco. After traveling with his parents to many different Army assignments including Japan, Iran and Nicaragua, he entered high school and finished at Andover Prep Academy, Andover, Mass. Mike then proceeded to the U.S. Air Force Academy where he played varsity lacrosse. At graduation he was presented The Samuel Pierport Langley Award as the Outstanding Cadet in Aerodynamics by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

After graduation, Mike proceeded to Moody AFB, Ga., for flight training and his pilot wings where he received the commanders trophy for outstanding pilot training program for flying, academics and military performance in October 1968 and was assigned to the 47th Tactical Fighter Squadron at MacDill AFB, Fla., for F-4 Phantom II Combat Crew Training as an Aircraft Commander until June 1969. He next served with the 16th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing at Eglin AFB, Fla., from June 1969 to June 1971. Capt. Francisco began flying combat missions in Southeast Asia with the 421st Tactical Fighter Squadron at DaNang AB in the Republic of Vietnam in June 1971, and as a "Stormy" FAST FAC with the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing. In May 1972, he transferred to the 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Udorn Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, where he served until December 1972, completing a total of 294 and a half combat missions. (He was shot down, forced to eject and rescued on April 28, 1972.) His next assignment was to Luke AFB, Ariz., with the 311th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron as an F-4 instructor pilot and with the 555th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron as an F-15A Eagle Instructor Pilot and Flight Commander, where he served from January 1973 to April 1978. He then attended the F15 Fighter Weapons School at Nellis AFB in the 433rd Fighter Weapons Squadron. Major Francisco served as Weapons Officer and Deputy Commander for Operations of the 4484th Fighter Weapons Squadron at Eglin AFB from October 1978 to September 1982. Lt. Col. Francisco then served in Europe as Deputy Commander for Operations with the 32nd Tactical Fighter Squadron in the Netherlands from September 1982 to June 1985. After completing Air War College, he served in the Pentagon from June 1986 to June 1988. Colonel Francisco then served as the Commander of the 32nd Tactical Fighter Group and Installation Commander from June 1988 to July 1989, when he became the Vice Commander of the 66th Electronic Combat Wing at Sembach AB, Germany, where he served until May 1991. His next assignment was with Headquarters Air Force Intelligence Command and the Air Force Electronic Warfare Center from May 1991 to July 1993, followed by an assignment to Air Force Space Command to establish the Air Force Space Warfare Center from July 1993 to July 1994. Colonel Francisco's final assignment was with the National Reconnaissance Office, as Director of Space Plans and Applications of the Directorate of Military Support in the Pentagon, where he served until retiring from the Air Force on July 31, 1995.

After Colonel Francisco retired, he started his consulting firm for Space and Modern Warfare and continued until the present time. His last official publication was Air Force ISR Operations which appeared in the winter 2010 Air & Space Power Journal. In September, Mike's last trip was to the 50th anniversary of the National Reconnaissance Office at the National Air and Space Museum, Chantilly, Va. He shared his last hurrah with his coworkers and friends from John Hopkins Physics Lab.

Mike held membership in many organizations. He belonged to the Association of Graduates of the Air Force Academy, Air Force Association, American Legion, Order of Daedalians, Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association, NAUS, National Aviation Club, Military Order of the Carabao, Washington D.C., Air Commando Association, Association of Old Crows, Military Affairs of the Emerald Coast, National Rifle Association, and inducted into the National Association of Legion of Valor and the Outstanding Young Men in America in 1981. He also was an Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts of America.

Mike was presented in 2007 with a final honor from the Air Force Academy, Falcon Heritage Forum, for receiving the Air Force Cross, an honor as one of 16 graduates of the Air Force Academy that received the Air Force Cross. A permanent plaque and picture were presented to be placed forever outside his dorm room. These plaques will commemorate service and sacrifice for all cadets to remember when they daily walk past these rooms. Visitors can view Cisco's plaque when visiting the Academy.

Mike was an avid Hobie Cat Sailor. He sailed with the Fleet 178 in Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., in the late 70s and early 80s. He also packed and shipped his Hobie to The Netherlands where he continued to sail with the Dutch. He also had a love and hobby of cooking.

Mike was a member of the First Methodist Church, Ft. Walton Beach, Fla. A Memorial Service and Celebration of Life will be held at First Methodist Church, Ft. Walton Beach, FL on Friday, Jan. 27, at 1 p.m. He will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery in the spring 2012.

He leaves behind his loving wife of 31 years, Dr. Patricia Rayburn Francisco, son Billy Meeks (Brenda) of Orlando, Fla.; grandson, Parker Meeks; granddaughter, Addison Meeks; his sister, Dr. Nancy Francisco Stewart; brother, Bill Francisco (Marisol); brother-in-law, Charles Rayburn; uncle, Chuck Schumate and devoted niece and caregiver, Lori Hinnenkamp, all of Houston, Texas; three loving Westie dogs and two cats. He leaves behind numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and remaining aunt, Micky Brown of Victoria, Texas, who was a WASP in World War II and ferried airplanes to and from Europe.

The family would like to thank all of the doctors, nurses and caregivers, especially intensive rehabilitation at TIRR Memorial Hermann, Houston, Texas. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital, MD Anderson Cancer Hospital or the American Stroke Association. Mike was a cancer survivor of 12 years.

Mike loved life to its fullest and was so proud to be an American. Cisco, you fought the hardest of fights, and you will be truly missed by all, especially your wife, animals and family. You were our spirit and anchor.

Additional tributes maybe read at: www.veterantributes.org and militarytimes.com/citations-medals-awards/recipient.php.

To share memories, express condolences and sign the guestbook, please visit www.daviswatkins.com.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Northwest Florida Daily News from Nov. 27 to Nov. 28, 2011.
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Memories & Condolences
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14 entries
January 27, 2012
Cisco,
I was with you at Udorn RTAFB in the Triple Nickle Tactical Fighter Squadron and again with you in the last days of your life in the ICU at the hospital in Pensacola, Fl. Our paths in life take us many places and I am glad and also honored to have spent those last days with you. I wish you well and thanks for the Sierra Hotel job that you did in this life.
Former Crew Chief F4-D of OY 65-0784 and current ICU RN, Joey Hill Sacred Heart Trauma Center, Pensacola, Fl.
Joey Hill
January 14, 2012
Mike, I remember a few mission together out of Udorn RTAFB, I with 13th you 555th. Take care and keep the wind in your face, sun at your back and check six. All of old fighter pukes will see you soon. Best Bill R
Bill Rid
December 15, 2011
Mike was truly the epitome of what the Air Force Academy was designed to produce. He was the consulate fighter pilot, warrior, scholar, and officer. Based on his academic performance at the Academy, he earned the nickname 4.0 Francisco. God Bless you my friend.
Ed Shirley
December 7, 2011
LUM, I will cherish the last seven months we spent together, laughing, crying, story telling, reading,praying,and working,working, working. What a fighter, until the very end. I'll miss you! Forever in my heart. LYN, Lori
Lori Francisco Hinnenkamp
December 7, 2011
Pat,
Our prayers are with you as you begin a new stage of life without Mike. His passing was such a shock as he sounded so upbeat when we talked on the phone. Our shared experiences will forever be a part of our happiest memories of the Air Force.We will forever have a few "Cisco" stories to take us back to those days when that big blue airplane was so much a part of our lives. We're sure he is showing the Angels a flying trick or two and fixing his curry for the Heavenly Hosts.
With Love,
Omar & Judy Wiseman
Omar & Judy Wiseman
December 7, 2011
Pat, I am so sorry to hear about Mike. He was a special man that I admired greatly for his "go get 'em" attitude. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Nan Weaver
December 4, 2011
Rest in peace, you're smiling face will be missed.
Donna and Betty, Bayside Cleaners
December 3, 2011
Cisco was a great lacrosse team mate and squadron mate at the Academy. We became friends who ran, worked and partied together. Linda and I have a special place for Sen'or Cisco in our hearts. Luv, Elf
Mike Cryer
November 29, 2011
Dear Pat, I am sorry to hear of your loss. My condolances to you and your Family. Love & God Bless.
Lou Peca
November 28, 2011
Michael, thank you for your years of selfless service to our Country that you loved so very much. I am most proud to have known you over the years. You have enriched my life and the lives of so many others. God's Speed Colonel Francisco!
Joseph Stewart
November 28, 2011
A wonderful cousin who always had time for family, Mike was personable and fun and very knowledgeable and I will miss him greatly. Ann Joseffy Shafer
Ann Shafer
November 27, 2011
May your memories of the wonderful times you shared with your loved one comfort you and your family, today and always.
American Stroke Association
November 27, 2011
What wonderful memories we have from the 4484th FWS. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Blessings,
Lynne and Dick Johnson
November 27, 2011
I was totally shocked and saddened to hear of Cisco's passing. I worked with Cisco at Luke AFB in the 70's and also at Eglin AFB in the early 80's on the F-15 program. Cisco was the best of the best.
Curt Oberg
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