Col. William E. (Bill) Harris, Jr. (USAF Retired), 87, of Keller, Texas, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at the Landing at Watermere.
Bill was born July 28, 1929 in Columbia, Tennessee to William and Milre (Cox) Harris. He graduated from Columbia Military Academy in 1947 , The Citadel in 1951 and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1967. On July 11, 1952, he married the former Sally Ann Hollowell at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona.
Bill received a Regular Commission in the United States Air Force as a Second Lieutenant on July 3, 1951. After completing Flight Training at the height of the Korean War, he began his military flying career piloting the Air Force’s first jet fighter, the F-80, and afterwards, the F-84, the first fighter aircraft to carry the atomic bomb. In a career spanning nearly 28 years, he flew over 30 different jet fighter, training, transport, rescue and reconnaissance aircraft. A Command Pilot with over 8,500 flight hours, Bill flew 309 combat and combat support missions throughout Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. He culminated his flying career by commanding the second squadron to be equipped to fly the Air Force’s largest jet transport, the C-5. After serving in a series of command and staff positions, he retired from active duty in May, 1979, as the Chief of Safety, 21st Air Force (Air Mobility Command), with the rank of Colonel – ending a career enabling him to travel and experience nearly all of the earth’s continents.
Bill received numerous flying and combat awards and decorations during his career, including the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and numerous Air Medals.
Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Sally; his son Bill (Beth) and daughter Patricia Hare (Steve); and 4 grandchildren: Molly, Grant, Drew and Hollis. Bill was preceded in death by his parents and his son, John.
Bill was a loving husband, father, grandfather and loyal friend to all.
Arrangements provided by Lucas Funeral Home, Keller. 817-753-6800
Posted in: Lucas Funeral Home
Posted on: 2016-08-16
Link to original obituary: http://www.lucasfuneralhomes.com/obituaries/William-Harris-32/#!/Obituary