Virtual Museum: Cold War Era


Those Who Served

Michelle Evans

Evans displays her book on the X-15 rocket plane at an event for the Columbia Memorial Science Center in Downey.

Michelle Evans served in the U.S. Air Force from 1973 to1980 as a Missile Systems Analyst Specialist on the AGM-69A Short Range Attack Missile (SRAM). She was responsible for everything on the missile to the rear of the nuclear warhead (electronics, flight controls and guidance). During her service, she received the Senior Missileman badge and a Munitions Master Team Chief Award. After six months of training at Chanute AFB in Illinois, Evans was stationed at Fairchild AFB, outside Spokane, Washington, where she served from July 1974 until leaving the service in November 1980. 

After leaving the military, Evans worked in the private sector conducting environmental testing for systems used in airliners and spacecraft. In addition, she is the founder and president of Mach 25 Media and is a writer, photographer and communications specialist in the aerospace industry. She wrote the bestselling book The X-15 Rocket Plane, Flying the First Wings into Space. Her current work with Mach 25 Media provides education and display services for astronaut appearances and other space-related events at government facilities, science centers, schools and other venues across the country and overseas. She was also a technical consultant on the Neil Armstrong biopic First Man as well as the National Geographic series The Right Stuff.

Evans is the transgender coordinator for the Orange County/Long Beach PFLAG Speaker’s Bureau, and has spoken extensively on this subject at high schools, colleges, universities, private companies, church and civic groups, as well as the Orange County Sheriff’s Academy. She founded and facilitates the transgender support group TG Rainbow.

She received the Diverse Community Leader Award from Orange County Human Relations for her work in the transgender community as an advocate and activist, and was recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Orange County by the Orange County Register.

On the Battle Ground

Evans in front of an FB-111, which also carried the SRAM. The photo was taken near the American Bicentennial in 1976.
Evans with a rotary launcher full of Short Range Attack Missiles at the Fairchild AFB Integrated Maintenance Facility.