Col. Kittinger was the Vice Wing Commander of the 48th TAC Fighter Wing when I was stationed as a controller at RAF Lakenheath back during '76-'77. Met the man several times—he would come up into the tower and chat with us during Wing down time. Rather nice fellow, talkative, and had flaming red hair back then.
I was a two-striper back then, and rather in awe of the man—between being a former POW and all his records in the Guinness Book and all. I still remember rooting for him during his post Air Force record breaking flight to become the first person to solo pilot a gas balloon across the Atlantic.