Patrick J. Pierce
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Hendersonville - Patrick, 90, passed away at Elizabeth House on June 19, 2013 after a lengthy illness. He was a resident of Hendersonville, NC.
Patrick was born on June 24, 1922 in Chicago, IL, son of the late Patrick and Renee Pierce. He was preceded in death by his sisters, Connie Mackell of Oxnard, CA, Regina Booth of Rancho Cordova, CA; and his brother, Harrington Pierce of Palatine, IL. Patrick attended Loyola University before enlisting in the United States Army Air Force during World War II. Pat was a B17 bomber pilot flying out of Thurleigh, England with the 8thAir Force (The mighty Eighth as he called it). He flew 18 missions before being shot down over Germany. He was injured and captured by the Wehrmacht (German army) and spent 1½ years in a Luftwaffe prison camp in Barth, Germany. His camp was liberated by the Cossacks towards the end of the war. He received a Purple Heart in France after liberation. He was also awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, The Air Medal with 3 oak leaf clusters and the "V" device for valor.
Pat returned to Chicago where he earned a law degree from DePaul University. A longtime resident of Port Jefferson, NY he retired as Northeast Area Manager for Airesearch Aviation. Previously, he was Facility Manager of Sylvania Electric in Teterboro, NJ. Upon retirement Pat volunteered helping to clear the Mountain to Sea trail and also was a volunteer with the Literacy Council teaching adults to read. He is survived by his wife, Irma Pierce; children, Pam Pierce of Asharoken, NY, Patrick Pierce of Fullshear, TX, Jamie Pierce of Lake Grove, NY; and stepchildren, Tracy Verity of San Juan Capistrano, CA and William McGee of Lakeland, FL.; 3 grandchildren; and his sister, Barbara Esslick of Park Ridge, IL.
Donations may be made to hospice's Four Seasons Elizabeth House at 571 South Allen Rd., Flat Rock, NC 28731 or a veteran's organization of your choice.
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on June 22, 2013