Lt. Col. USAF (Ret.) Harold C. Perkins of Florence, SC, widower of Evelyn Bailey Perkins, died June 8, 2019.Born September 24, 1932, in Darlington County, SC, he was the son of the late Joseph Perkins and the late Cora Cooper Perkins. He was a graduate of McClenaghan High School, Class of 1950. Graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Political Science from Francis Marion College in 1979. He continued his education at the University of South Carolina earning a Master of Education degree in Secondary Education in 1980.Col. Perkins was a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam Wars and retired after serving over 25 years in the USAF. He was a command pilot instructor and test pilot who flew over 20 different types of aircraft during his military career. He had fighter pilot assignments in several states and in France, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Turkey and a tour in Thailand where he flew 82 combat missions in the F105 during the Vietnam War. Following the combat tour he was assigned to the Tactical Air Command as the Weapon Systems Project Officer for the F100 and A7 aircraft. Subsequently, he served as Commander of an aircraft delivery unit in the Azores, Portugal, Director of Current Operations for the 314th Air Division and Chief of the Tactical Air Control Center and Defense Air Control Center in Osan, South Korea. Prior to retirement he was Director of Command and Control at Headquarters 9th Air Force at Shaw Air Force Base, SC. Col. Perkins' military wards and decoration are many. Among these are the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Combat Readiness Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medals, Exceptional Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Vietnam Service Medal, National Defense Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal and the Korean Defense Service Medal. He was a member of the American Legion Post 1, the Military Officers' Association of America and a charter member of the Red River Fights; Pilots Association. After retirement from the Air Force Lt. Col. Perkins was a Social Studies teacher at Wilson High School in Florence. Additionally, he was a manager of the Tastee Freeze, a family owned business in Bennettsville, SC. Surviving is his son, Harold C. Perkins, Jr of Florence and 10 nieces and nephews. He was predeceased, in addition to his wife and parents, by a son, David M. Perkins, brothers, Borey, Joseph Raferd and Robert Newton Perkins and sister, Catherine Perkins Jernigan. Funeral Services will be held at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in the Stoudenmire-Dowling Funeral Home Chapel. Interment will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery. Family will receive friends from 1:00 2:00 PM on Wednesday at the funeral home.In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Grace Baptist Church, 2400 Third Loop Road, Florence, SC 29501. Please sign the tribute wall for the family at www.stoudenmiredowling.com.
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