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Retiree Update: William “Hammer” Ladd

March 27, 2022

Retiree News recently reconnected with William “Hammer” Ladd. Hammer flew with the 199th Fighter Squadron during the F-4 and F-15 eras. His recent email provided the following comments:

My apologies to you – and many others – I got out of touch after Aloha Airlines went out of business in 2008 – I had to “jump” to find suitable employment and went to Shenzhen, China and flew 737’s in and around China.

Personal photograph used with permission

Rhonda and the family moved to China in May 2009, where both kids prospered.

Son, William (“Kai”) mastered the language, attending college in Beijing and getting a BA and MA in International Business and Chinese language (2021). He earned his private flying license in the USA, and is currently employed as a “headhunter,” of sorts, working for EQUUS, finding jobs for young people… and interviewing with the HIANG, as his life-long dream is to fly for the HIANG in the 199th FS… 

Daughter, Arianna, began riding horses and competing in equestrian show-jumping, winning a children’s world silver medal at age 14, then training in Europe for 3 years, winning a 1st place in the Longines’ “Global Champions Tour” CSI2, in 2015… videos are on her website “”  Arianna’s goal is to compete in the Olympics…

I retired from Shenzhen airlines, and found employment as a simulator instructor in the Gulfstream G550 executive jet, at FlightSafety International, in Hong Kong… until July 2021, when my own medical issue (Parkinson’s) forced my retirement…

Anyway, we bought a horse farm in Kentucky, where Arianna has been training daily with an Olympic coach, who happens to live nearby…

It was great to catch up with Hammer!

Those wanting to reconnect with Hammer should email Retiree News for contact information.

From → History

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