Lt. Col. Kurt C. Novak, retired command pilot - The Buffalo News

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Lt. Col. Kurt C. Novak, retired command pilot

March 1, 1944 – July 23, 2014

Lt. Col. Kurt C. Novak, a retired Air Force Reserve command pilot, died Wednesday under hospice care in his Getzville home. He was 70.

Born in Lackawanna, he was a 1962 graduate of Hamburg High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Pennsylvania State University in 1966.

Upon graduation, he was commissioned a second lieutenant through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps and attended pilot training school.

Lt. Col. Novak was a B-52 squadron pilot and served three tours of duty in the Vietnam War. In 1972, he was assigned to the Niagara Falls Air Force Base, where he was a C-130 pilot, chief pilot, chief of safety, scheduling officer, director of current operations and training and operations officer.

Later, he was a C-130 pilot and wing chief of safety in the United Arab Emirates during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm in 1990 and 1991.

He retired in 1999 as director of operations for the 328th Aircraft Squadron at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

He logged more than 13,500 flight hours as a C-130 pilot.

He received numerous awards and decorations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with six oak leaf clusters.

He was a member of the Reserve Officer Association, the American Society of Safety Engineers, the Penn State Alumni Association, the Penn State Varsity “S” Club, the American Legion and St. Pius X Parish.

Survivors include his wife of 23 years, the former Susan Lynn Batog; two daughters, Alexandra and Victoria; and a brother, Paul.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday in St. Pius X Catholic Church, 1700 North French Road, Getzville.

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