Bradford Leon Therrell, Sr. , age 90, was born on August 11, 1923 and died on May 1, 2014, following a brief illness. He was preceded in death by his parents Thomas Leon and Ruth Pierce Therrell and his sisters Pauline Lusk, Virginia Thomason, M.E. Smith, and Tommie Morris. He is survived by his wife of over 70 years, Winifred Silcox Therrell, sisters Betty Clarke, and Peggy Simmons, and sons Bradford Leon Jr. (Carolyn), Thomas Stephen (Ann), James Arthur (Johna), and Timothy Silcox (Cathy) Therrell. Bradford received great joy from his 10 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.
In 1942, Brad joined the U.S. Navy becoming one of the youngest pilots when he received his 'Wings of Gold' at age 20. He was proudest of his service as a distinguished fighter pilot in the Pacific during World War II. His accomplishments included being one of the first Navy pilots to fly both the Vaught F4U Corsair and the Ryan F-1 Fireball (first Navy prop jet). Among his many military awards were the Air Medal with Gold Star, recognizing over 60 fighter combat missions and the Presidential Unit Citation with star for actions in 7 air/sea battles (including the Battle for Leyte Gulf, Battle of the Philippine Sea, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa).
After the War ended, Brad worked for Mutual of Omaha as a pilot, claims manager and Medicare/Champus regional manager. For the past 4 years, he and wife, Winkie, have resided at Emeritus at Trace Point in Clinton, MS. All services will be at Wright and Ferguson Funeral Home in Ridgeland. Visitation will be Sunday May 4, 2014 from 3 - 5 pm and 10 am on Monday May 5, followed by services at 11:00 am. Burial will follow in Parkway Memorial Cemetery. For online condolences go to http://www.wrightferguson.com.
Published in Clarion Ledger from May 4 to May 6, 2014