Phillip A. Rand, age 87, passed away in Klamath Falls, Ore., on Thursday, May 19, 2011. A celebration of life service will be held at a later date. Cremation was performed by Klamath Cremation Service, and he will be interred at Eagle Point National Cemetery.
Phil was born July 11, 1923, in Bath, Maine. He graduated from high school in Saugus, Mass. in 1941 and entered the Army Air Corps in May 1942 to become a pilot. He was sent to the South Pacific and to the Island of Guadalcanal to begin combat flying in P-38 and P-61 fighter aircraft. He flew 87 combat missions during this tour of duty during World War II. After returning to the United States, Phil continued his military career as an Air Force fighter pilot and commander for a total of 32 1/2 years of active duty. During these many years, he flew most propeller and jet fighter aircraft. He had two tours of duty at Kingsley Field, the first in 1961 as the Fighter Squadron Commander and the second in 1968 as the Fighter Group Commander. He was privileged to have commanded three fighter squadrons, a fighter group, a wing, an air division, and an Air Force Advisory Unit in Vietnam. In Vietnam 1966-1967, Phil flew another 240 combat missions. This gave him a total of 326 combat missions and 652 combat hours in fighter aircraft in these two wars. He was highly decorated by the United States and foreign governments.
After retiring from the Air Force in 1974, he returned to Klamath Falls where he lived for the rest of his life. He was the City of Klamath Falls Airport Manager at Kingsley Field for nearly 12 1/2 years, retiring again in 1988. He was a devoted amateur radio operator with the call-sign W7BW, having been licensed continuously since 1938.
Phil was a member of the VFW, American Legion, DAV, Daedalians, and many other military related organizations. He was also a member of the Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite, and the Shrine. He was a 32nd degree Mason.
He was an avid reader, and he flew private aircraft right up until his passing.
He was predeceased by his first wife, Alice in 2002.
Survivors include his wife Judy, daughter and son-in-law Patricia and Lee Worthen of Cottonwood, Ariz., sons and daughters-in-law Stephen of Chesapeake, Va., Christopher and Becky in Woodbury, Minn., and Air Force General Robin and his wife Kim; stepchildren Nery and her husband Vee Rienthong of Phoenix, Ariz., and Rick Angel of Phoenix, Ariz. He will be missed by 12 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. He also leaves many dear friends in Rocky Point where he lived for 25 years, and in Klamath Falls.
Memorial donations may be made to Klamath Hospice, Inc., or Klamath Humane Society c/o Double C Dog Training.
Published in Herald And News on May 24, 2011.