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Colonel William Reed Craig, III (USAF, Ret) slipped the surly bonds on November 22, 2012 at his home in Anacortes, WA.
Reed was born in Bloomington, IL to William and Lois (Childs) Craig on July 26, 1937.
Reed's parents were schoolteachers, and the family moved around the Midwest during his childhood.
Reed attended Kiski Preparatory School in Saltsburg, PA and graduated in 1955. He graduated from Kenyon College in Gambier, OH in 1959 with a degree in Economics and received his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. After pilot training in Laredo, TX and Marianna, FL, Reed was assigned to Strategic Air Command, flying the B-47 Stratojet bomber during multiple overseas deployments. He accumulated over 1000 hours of pilot and copilot time during this tour. In 1964, Reed was a production test pilot and Airline Transport Pilot flying the Learjet in Wichita, KS and Columbus, OH. In 1966, Reed was recalled to active duty in support of the Vietnam War. After training in the F-102 Delta Dagger interceptor, he was assigned to the RF-101 Voodoo reconnaissance aircraft and flew 135 combat sorties over North Vietnam and Laos. Upon his return to the United States, Reed became an aircraft commander and chief of standardization and evaluation in the B-52H Stratofortress bomber at Wurtsmith Air Force Base, MI, accumulating over 6000 flight hours as an aircraft commander and was active in the strategic nuclear mission until 1975. Transitioning to the Services mission, Reed was assigned to Castle Air Force Base, CA, Kadena Air Base, Japan (where he was awarded the Services Officer of the Year award), the Engineering and Services Directorate at Air Force Logistics Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH, and the USAF Engineering and Services Center at Tyndall Air Force Base, FL. Reed's final assignment was to the USAF Services Directorate in the Pentagon, Washington, DC. It was during this assignment that Reed prepared for and executed a highly successful Services plan during Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM in Kuwait and Iraq. Reed retired from active USAF service in July, 1991.
After living in Chicago, IL, Reed moved to the Pacific NW in 1997 and married his wife Sandy, in that same year. He lived in Anacortes, WA for the past 14 years and enjoyed a very relaxing retirement.
Reed is survived by his wife, Sandy; his daughter, Lois; and his son, Jeff.
"Clear skies and tailwinds, Colonel."
Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery.
Arrangements are in the care of Evans Funeral Chapel and Crematory, Inc., Anacortes, WA and the San Juan Islands.
To share memories of William, please sign the online guest register at www.evanschapel.com.
Evans Funeral Chapel - Anacortes
1105 32nd Street
Anacortes, WA 98221
Published in Skagit Valley Herald Publishing Company on Dec. 2, 2012