NASA astronaut and Laurinburg, N.C. native Bill McArthur Jr., will visit Fort Bragg Soldiers and talk with students at Shughart Elementary and Middle schools Monday, April 30.
McArthur, who is no stranger to Fort Bragg, he graduated from West
Point in June 1973 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. Following a
tour with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, he entered the U.S. Army
Aviation School in 1975. He was the top graduate of his flight class and
was designated an Army aviator in June 1976. McArthur subsequently served as an aeroscout team leader and brigade aviation section commander with the 2nd Infantry Division in the Republic of Korea. In 1978, he was assigned to the
24th Combat Aviation Battalion in Savannah, Ga., where he served as a
company commander, platoon leader and operations officer. After completing
studies at Georgia Tech, he was assigned to the Department of Mechanics at
West Point as an assistant professor. In June 1987, he graduated from the
U.S. Naval Test Pilot School and was designated an experimental test pilot.
Other military schools completed include the Army Parachutist Course, the
Jumpmaster Course and the Command and General Staff Officers' Course.
As a retired Army officer in 2001, and Master Army Aviator, he has logged more than 9,000 flight hours in 41 different air/spacecraft.
McArthur was assigned to NASA at the Johnson Space Center in August
1987 as a Space Shuttle vehicle integration test engineer. Duties involved
serving as the engineering liaison for launch and landing operations of the
space shuttle. He was actively involved in the integrated test of the
flight control system for each orbiter for its return to flight and was a
member of the Emergency Escape and Rescue Working Group.