Rebecca Mary Kawaiala McFadden was born March 5, 1927 in Hilo, Hawaii. Rebecca was the premier athlete of her Hilo High School 1945 class and participated in women’s basketball, volleyball, softball, and Hawaiian canoe paddling. After graduation she remained active in these sports as a member of many high-quality teams representing the Big Island of Hawaii. On May 7, 1955, she married Lieutenant Julian R. McFadden at the Haili Church in Hilo. With their large family of nine children, they traveled extensively in the Pacific and throughout the United States during a series of US Air Force assignments. Retirement brought them back to Corvallis in October 1981. Becky loved bowling. She had been a low handicap bowler in the women’s league on Okinawa, and greatly enjoyed bowling in Corvallis. She particularly enjoyed her teammates on the “Happy Housewives” team. Rebecca was a fan of OSU football, basketball, baseball, and women’s gymnastics. She was enthusiastically involved in thoroughbred horse racing and provided determined support of Pleasure Acres Thoroughbred Farm.
Becky was raised in the Hawaiian tradition of God and family above all. She was active with her family in the Haili Hawaiian Congregational Church and her early years featured a deep commitment to the Haili Choir. She possessed a rich alto voice and was a lead Hula dancer in the choir. Everyone in the Haili Choir was related through blood or marriage. The choir traveled extensively and was acclaimed the leader in Hawaiian religious music. Rebecca remained an active member in the choir throughout her life. In addition, she was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Corvallis and attended mass at her husband’s side for thirty-eight years.
Rebecca supported the Air Force mission and was a major contributor to the successful career enjoyed by her husband. Traveling and living in some extremely rugged and austere conditions, she made a lasting impression on many associates with her perseverance and “can do” attitude. She was a comfort to the families of many young fighter pilots during difficult times. She was an inspiration to all who knew her. Following her death on Aug. 17, 1993, Julian helped establish this memorial scholarship fund to further the education of Army and Air Force cadets at Oregon State University.
Julian R. McFadden was born in Corvallis on June 28, 1930. Following his graduation from Corvallis High School, Julian graduated from St. Thomas Military Academy in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1949. In 1953, Julian graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture. Julian entered the active-duty U.S. Air Force on Jan. 18, 1954, at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. Selected for pilot training, he graduated in 1957. While in the Air Force, Julian earned a second undergraduate degree in 1956 from Oklahoma State University in mechanical and aeronautical engineering. In 1975, Julian earned a graduate degree in business administration from Auburn University. He was also a distinguished graduate of the Air War College.
A command pilot with tours in the Pacific and Southeast Asia, Julian flew 341 combat missions in Vietnam while based at Danang, Republic of Vietnam, and Udorn, Thailand. He accumulated more than 5,000 flying hours in the F-4, F-102, T-33 and A-10 aircraft. Among the decorations Julian earned during his illustrious career are the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with two Oak Leaf clusters, Bronze Star, Air Medal with 17 Oak Leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf clusters, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with Bronze Service Star, Vietnam Service Medal with 10 Bronze Service Stars, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
Col. Julian Robert McFaddenn died on November 12, 2010. At the request of the family, this scholarship fund was renamed, the “Col. Julian & Rebecca McFadden Memorial Scholarship Fund.”