Maj. Harold Lane Overton, USAF (Ret.)
The Guest Book is expired.
Maj. Harold L. Overton, USAF (Ret.) passed away December 1, 2013 following a sustained illness. Maj. Overton was born in Durham, North Carolina on February 28, 1931, the second son of Willie Lee Overton and Lilla Stewart Baine Overton, both originally from Harnett County, North Carolina. He had one older brother, William Alvin Overton, deceased, of Durham, North Carolina and two younger brothers, Bobby Lee Overton of Tucson, Arizona and Charles Norman Overton, deceased, of Florida. He is survived by his wife of more than 60 years, Betty Jean Thomas Overton of Cary, North Carolina; a son, Allan Gregg Overton of Atlanta, Georgia; a daughter, Pamela Overton Lipcsak of Goldsboro, North Carolina; grandchildren, Zachary Overton, Eleanor Overton Sigurs and Andrew Overton of Atlanta, Georgia, Travis Lipcsak of Goldsboro, North Carolina and Austin Lipcsak of Dahlonega, Georgia; and great-grandchildren, Noah and Emily Sigurs of Atlanta, Georgia.
Maj. Overton was graduated from Bragtown High School in Durham, North Carolina in the Class of 1948. He attended Duke University until he left early to pursue his lifelong dream of flying in the United States Air Force. He served as bombardier, plane spotter and gunner on bombers in the Korean War. His twenty years of service also included UN Peacekeeping and humanitarian efforts in the Congo and Dominican Republic as well as wartime duties during the War in Viet Nam. He received a number of high honors and commendations for his service. Among the honors he received was an Air Force Commendation Medal for his leadership in developing and implementing procedures for a new system of air-lift capability. The procedure, known as Operation Sky-Hook, was used primarily as a means of rescuing downed airmen and others from behind enemy lines in Southeast Asia and was demonstrated in the 1969 movie "The Green Berets" starring John Wayne.
Maj. Overton was also awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for overcoming severe navigational problems, hostile defenses and marginal weather conditions to carry out a successful airdrop mission of vital importance to military operations in Southeast Asia as described in the accompanying citation.
When he was not flying, he could frequently be found with his wife, Betty, taking home bowling trophies, dove hunting or taking the children and grandchildren fishing, all the while sounding the praises of basketball prowess of his beloved Duke Blue Devils.
His passing was mourned privately by his family and those wishing to honor him are invited to make a donation to the Veterans of Foreign Wars or other veteran support group. His family wishes to thank Joel Branch and his staff at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home in Cary, North Carolina for the professional service and compassion they showed our loved one and his family. The family would also like to extend our love and appreciation to Doris and Nate Prior and their family who have been a wonderful support to Harold and Betty.
Condolences may be sent to www.BrownWynneCary.com
Published in The News & Observer on Dec. 22, 2013