Robert E. Howard Jr.

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Jr., USMC (Ret.)Jun 15, 1928 - Sept 21, 2011 OKLAHOMA CITY A memorial service for Oklahoma City resident, Col. Robert E. Howard Jr., USMC (Ret.), is scheduled Saturday, Oct. 22, at 11 a.m., at the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Oklahoma City. Col. Howard died Sept. 21 at the VA Medical Center, Oklahoma City. He was 83. Interment at Arlington National Cemetery at a date yet to be determined.Col. Howard was born in Tulsa in 1928 and later moved to Oklahoma City, where he graduated from Central High School. He enlisted into the U.S. Navy, was selected for Aviation Navy ROTC and chose to attend Oklahoma A&M, now Oklahoma State University. In 1949 he became a midshipman in the Navy and commenced flight training. He received his wings and commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps and began his 29 years of military service.During the Korean War, he flew 105 combat missions with VMF-122, Marine Air Group-13; and during the Vietnam War as Commanding Officer, VMFA-122, Marine Corps Air Group-13, he flew 330 combat missions.His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit with Combat V, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, seven Air Medals, 24 Strike/Flight Air Medals and the Navy Commendation Medal.He participated in the technological revolution in flight operations that followed World War II. He was a test pilot at Naval Ordnance Test Station, China Lake, California, from 1957 to 1960 as part of the development of the Sidewinder missile. He earned master's degrees from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Ft. McNair and National War College in Washington, D.C. After retirement he served as President of the Board of Directors of Meals-on-Wheels in Vista, California.He was selected for membership in the elite Early & Pioneer Naval Aviators Association (the "Golden Eagles") and in 2010 was inducted into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame.He was active in the Episcopal Church and served in a variety of capacities and held several offices.Survivors include his wife, Rodella (Peg) Howard, of the home; a brother, Monty Howard and wife, June, of Oklahoma City; three daughters, Lisa Buchanan, Carolyn Coombs and Mary Hollas; a son, Monty Howard; his aunt, Helen Helt of Stillwater; grandchildren, Shannon Vaughn, Nick Vaughn and wife April, Dallas Coombs, Calin Hollas, and Carly Hollas; and great-grandchildren, Samantha Mills, Wyatt Harlan, Maegan Vaughn, and Cassidy Vaughn.The family suggests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, 13112 N. Rockwell Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73142; or to the Disabled American Veterans, PO Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH, 45250-0301.

Published in The Oklahoman on Oct. 2, 2011
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