Former 127th Wing commander dies

By: Alex Szwarc | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published September 2, 2021

 Former 127th Wing Commander Michael Peplinski, of Macomb Township, died Aug. 7 at the age of 63. He was laid to rest Aug. 25 at the Great Lakes National Cemetery.

Former 127th Wing Commander Michael Peplinski, of Macomb Township, died Aug. 7 at the age of 63. He was laid to rest Aug. 25 at the Great Lakes National Cemetery.

Photo provided by 127th Wing

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HARRISON TOWNSHIP — The military general was described as a caring man.

Michael Peplinski, of Macomb Township, died Aug. 7 at the age of 63.

The retired brigadier general served as the 127th Wing commander at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township from 2006-2011.

On Aug. 11, the 127th Wing posted on Facebook the news of Peplinski’s passing.

Peplinski served as an active duty officer for nearly 20 years before joining the Air National Guard in his home state of Michigan in 1999.  

He was a command pilot with more than 3,200 hours flying both the F-16 Fighting Falcon and the KC-135.  

On Facebook, Michael Whitefoot thanked Peplinski for his extraordinary service to America and for always taking outstanding care of all of his Airmen.

“We will sorely miss you, but we will never forget all the great times we shared with you and your family,” he wrote.

Jack Sartoris said he served with the general for about a year, when he was an advisor to the 127th Wing.

“He was a genuine, caring person, without pretense, and a fine officer — one of the best I served with in my 20 years in uniform,” Sartoris wrote. “I respectfully salute you, sir, and send my sincere sympathies to his family.”

Peplinski retired in June of 2011 following more than 32 years of service. He was described as an active member of the Selfridge Base Community Council and served the Michigan Employer Support of the guard and reserve.

Visitation was Aug. 23, with a Aug. 24 funeral in Port Huron. He was laid to rest the morning of Aug. 25 at the Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly.

His obituary states he graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1979.

“In combat, Pep commanded the 506th Operations Group and served as the base commander at Kirkuk Air Base, Iraq, in 2004,” it states. “He was a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 29450, the National Guard Association of the United States, the National Guard Association of Michigan, and the Airlift Tanker Association.”

He married his wife Donna Kay in 2011. Peplinski is survived by Donna Kay, two sons, six grandchildren and a stepson.

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