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Murfreesboro, TN 37130
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William H. Pickron Jr.

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William H. Pickron Jr. Obituary
Lt. Col. William H. Pickron, Jr.

Lt. Col. William H. Pickron, Jr., USAF (Retired) of Murfreesboro, passed away at age 90 on Monday, October 7, 2013.

He was preceded in death by his parents, William H. and Willie Ellen Robinson Pickron.

Visitation will be Monday at Woodfin Memorial Chapel, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. A graveside service will be Monday at 2 p.m., at Middle Tennessee Veterans Cemetery in Pegram, TN, with full military honors.

Born in McCaully, Texas on March 7, 1923, Mr. Pickron joined the Army Air Corps as a Private in March of 1941. He earned his wings as a S/SGT because he had not yet reached 21 years of age as required to become a commissioned officer. During World War II, Mr. Pickron served as a fighter pilot in both the European and Pacific Theatres. He flew the P-39, P-40, P-47, P-51 and P-38. Later as a squadron commander in Ramstein, Germany, he flew the F-84 and F-86. Mr. Pickron also flew the F-104 as a pilot and flight instructor for the Italian Air Force in Rome, Italy. He was also the Air Force Advisor to the Tennessee Air National Guard in Knoxville. Col. Pickron retired from the United States Air Force in 1967 and became the State of Tennessee's first chief pilot hired by Governor, Buford Ellington, to fly the Governor and state officials. He was also chief pilot for Governor Winfield Dunn and Governor Ray Blanton. Mr. Pickron was a Rated Commander Pilot in over fifty aircraft and his awards include four Air Medals, two Presidential Unit Citations, the Tennessee National Guard Distinguished Service Award and a Commendation from the Italian Air Force.

Mr. Pickron co-authored the writing of the book "Missions Remembered" recalling his World War II exploits. He was inducted into the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame in 2009.

Mr. Pickron was married to Lillian Bess Darden Pickron and they recently celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary.

He is survived by his loving wife, Bess; his three children, Pat West and her husband Dr. Norman of Sewanee, TN, Margaret Bennett and her husband Jerry of Hendersonville, TN and William H. Pickron III and his wife Beth of Germantown, TN; grandchildren, Jennifer Grab and her husband Matt, Natalie McMullen and her husband Tim, Jeremiah Bennett and his wife Erin, and James M. Patton III; and ten great-grandchildren, all of whom will miss a member of the "Greatest Generation."

Memorials may be made to the Shriners Hospital, the Wounded Warrior Project or to a .

Online condolences can be made at

Woodfin Memorial Chapel, (615) 893-5151.

Published in The Daily News Journal from Oct. 11 to Oct. 13, 2013
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