Howard Richardson
Howard Richardson
  • September 6, 1921 - January 20, 2018
  • Mississippi

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Col. Howard T. Richardson (USAF retired), 96, passed away Sat., Jan. 20, 2018, at his home in Brandon, Miss. The Louisville, Miss. native was the oldest son of Dr. Elbert Leech Richardson and Edna Earl Triplett Richardson. As he put it, his wombmate and twin brother Dr. David Durham Richardson kicked him out first to become the baby of the family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Mary Louise (John Stewart Sr.) Fair, Elizabeth (William) Carrothers, and his twin brother David (Alma Carl).
He is survived by his wife of 74 years, childhood sweetheart Vivian Ann Keele Richardson, and their children Brigadier General William Keele (Jane) Richardson, Alan Blake Richardson, and Janet Lynn Richardson Robertson. He is also survived by his grandchildren Keele Richardson, Chris (Bobbie) Richardson, Martin Richardson, Susan (Todd) Prater and Amy Robertson. Great-grandchildren include Caiden, Chance, Michael Paul, Paula, Vivian Ruth, Kline, JD and Jenny. He is also survived by many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
What first was a shy teenager grew up to be a faithful servant of God, Country, family and friends who never met a stranger and always asked where you were from. He knew no other way than to live his life "Outstanding" and "Blessed", and his stories, often told multiple times, were sure to have you feeling the same.
Richardson is a graduate of Louisville High School (Diploma), Mississippi State College (Bachelor of Science in General Business) and the Catholic University of America (Master of Fiscal Administration). He entered the United States Air Force, graduating from Aviation Cadet Training in May 1942 and was later commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant with Pilot Wings in August 1943.
Serving in the Mighty Eighth Air Force in England, he completed 35 combat missions with the 548th Bomb Sq., 385th Bomb Group and later assigned to the 4th Bombardment Wing. A most beloved photo shows Richardson smiling in front of a B-47 named Mississippi Miss. After returning to the United States in 1945, later assignments had him serving in the Pentagon and in Strategic Air Command. He also returned overseas to two assignments in Germany. His last assignment before retiring was a 3-year tour with Tactical Air Command.
Richardson received the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with one oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Presidential Unit Citation, and European Campaign with four Battle Stars.
Retiring as a full-bird colonel after over 30 years of service, he was followed into service by his two sons William and Blake. In his career, he flew more than 7000 flying hours.
He was a member of Broadmoor Baptist Church, the Lions Club, Military Order of the World Wars, the Retired Officers of America, Walter Scott Coffee Club, and Sigma Chi Fraternity.
Visitation will be held at Noon on Wed., Jan. 24, at Parkway Funeral Home, 1161 Highland Colony Pkwy, Ridgeland, MS 39157. The service will be held at 1:00 p.m., with a private interment for family to follow.