OBITUARY

William Harold Hatfield

April 1, 1928April 10, 2018
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Lt Col William Harold (Bill) Hatfield, USAF ret, 90, passed away Tuesday, April 10, 2018, after a short illness. The Colonel (as his friends called him) was born in a small house in Wheeler MS on April 1, 1928 to Odes and Geneva Hatfield. He grew up in Wheeler and Backland before hitchhiking to Montgomery, AL to enlist in the Air Force. He used the GI bill to obtain his Bachelor’s degree at Mississippi State University and later a Master’s Degree from George Washington University. He was the first person to be granted an Air Force regular commission from Mississippi. The Col made the Air Force a career spending 27 ½ years serving his country as a pilot. He amassed over 11,000 flying hours with over 8,000 of those hours in his beloved C-130 Hercules. He was a command pilot and member of the C-130 “Four Horseman” Demonstration team, which was the only multi-engine transport aerial demonstration team the Air Force ever had. There is a YouTube video of the team documenting their performance. The Col was decorated with the prestigious Distinguished Flying Cross, World War II victory medal, the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, Air Force Longevity Award with Bronze Service Star, Combat Ready Medal, Small Arms Expert Marksman Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Air Force Presidential Unit Citation, Viet Nam Service Award with 4 Bronze Service Stars, Viet Nam Campaign Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 2 Oak Leafs and. The Col had 400+ hours of combat flight time on 157 combat missions while serving in Viet Nam. After retirement he stayed busy flying his personal airplanes for enjoyment. He also had the distinction of transporting many dignitaries including Governor Cliff Finch and his staff. He flew his last flight with his wife Elaine when he was nearly 80 years old. The Col was devoutly loyal to his country, family and friends. The Col loved restoring and racing Ford Mustangs. He was especially fond of the Ford Mustang SVO. He loved riding his Harley Davidson Motorcycle well into his 80s and enjoyed riding with the local motorcycle club Patriot Guard. He was an avid photographer and enjoyed taking pictures of hummingbirds, flowers and other parts of nature. He is survived by his wife of 68 years Elaine Foster Hatfield, sons Steve (Lillie) Hatfield, Billy Hatfield and Mark (Karen) Hatfield, five grandchildren and 1 and ½ great grandchildren and his best friend and brother in arms Col James F. Akin USAF ret. He was preceded in death by his father Odes Hatfield, mother Geneva Scott Hatfield and his sister Sue Hatfield Rodgers. Graveside services with military honors will be at 1:00 P.M. Friday at Corinth National Cemetery with Dr. Erik Dukes officiating. Services are under the direction of McMillan Funeral Home. Visitation will be Friday from 10:00 A.M. until 12:00 P.M. at the funeral home. Pall bearers will be John Floyd, Cecil Rhoades, Willie Hatfield, Chuck Hines, Macky Bullard, Tom Lewis, Jeff Hatfield, Blake Hatfield, Jason Hatfield and Will Curry. The family requests that no flowers be sent. Instead, please make a donation for Alzheimer’s Research.

  • PALLBEARERS

  • John Floyd, Active Pallbearer
  • Cecil Rhoades, Active Pallbearer
  • Willie Hatfield, Active Pallbearer
  • Chuck Hines, Active Pallbearer
  • Macky Bullard, Active Pallbearer
  • Tom Lewis, Active Pallbearer
  • Jeff Hatfield, Active Pallbearer
  • Blake Hatfield, Active Pallbearer
  • Jason Hatfield, Active Pallbearer
  • Will Curry, Active Pallbearer

Services

  • Visitation Friday, April 13, 2018
REMEMBERING

William Harold Hatfield

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John Dale

April 16, 2018

Had a great time sharing flying duties with Bill (Sweet William) in the slot position with the Four Horsemen. We also shared ownership in a Cherokee 235 (N-9148W) at March AFB while we were stationed there. I still have and use a small homebuilt air compressor he sold to me for $10 while at March. He called me several weeks ago and we chatted about our time together in the Air Force and the great times we had as members of that elite fraternity of pilots. The fun we had during our tours would surely put us in jeopardy with the politically correct current doctrines! He said, and I agreed, that we'd do it all over again! Great memories of a wonderful man. Gonna miss swapping stories with him....seems they were getting better with each telling!
My love to his family, he was so proud of you all.
John

Dickie Rhea

April 12, 2018

The Apostle Paul wrote “And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.”
Please know our prayers are with you.
Dickie Rhea
Chaplain, Sanctuary Hospice

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Biography

Lt Col William Harold (Bill) Hatfield, USAF ret, 90, passed away Tuesday, April 10, 2018, after a short illness. The Colonel (as his friends called him) was born in a small house in Wheeler MS on April 1, 1928 to Odes and Geneva Hatfield. He grew up in Wheeler and Backland before hitchhiking to Montgomery, AL to enlist in the Air Force. He used the GI bill to obtain his Bachelor’s degree at Mississippi State University and later a Master’s Degree from George Washington University. He was the first person to be granted an Air Force regular commission from Mississippi.
The Col made the Air Force a career spending 27 ½ years serving his country as a pilot. He amassed over 11,000 flying hours with over 8,000 of those hours in his beloved C-130 Hercules. He was a command pilot and member of the C-130 “Four Horseman” Demonstration team, which was the only multi-engine transport aerial demonstration team the Air Force ever had. There is a YouTube video of the team documenting their performance.
The Col was decorated with the prestigious Distinguished Flying Cross, World War II victory medal, the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, Air Force Longevity Award with Bronze Service Star, Combat Ready Medal, Small Arms Expert Marksman Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Air Force Presidential Unit Citation, Viet Nam Service Award with 4 Bronze Service Stars, Viet Nam Campaign Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 2 Oak Leafs and. The Col had 400+ hours of combat flight time on 157 combat missions while serving in Viet Nam.
After retirement he stayed busy flying his personal airplanes for enjoyment. He also had the distinction of transporting many dignitaries including Governor Cliff Finch and his staff. He flew his last flight with his wife Elaine when he was nearly 80 years old. The Col was devoutly loyal to his country, family and friends.
The Col loved restoring and racing Ford Mustangs. He was especially fond of the Ford Mustang SVO. He loved riding his Harley Davidson Motorcycle well into his 80s and enjoyed riding with the local motorcycle club Patriot Guard. He was an avid photographer and enjoyed taking pictures of hummingbirds, flowers and other parts of nature.
He is survived by his wife of 68 years Elaine Foster Hatfield, sons Steve (Lillie) Hatfield, Billy Hatfield and Mark (Karen) Hatfield, five grandchildren and 1 and ½ great grandchildren and his best friend and brother in arms Col James F. Akin USAF ret. He was preceded in death by his father Odes Hatfield, mother Geneva Scott Hatfield and his sister Sue Hatfield Rodgers.
Graveside services with military honors will be at 1:00 P.M. Friday at Corinth National Cemetery with Dr. Erik Dukes officiating. Services are under the direction of McMillan Funeral Home.
Visitation will be Friday from 10:00 A.M. until 12:00 P.M. at the funeral home.
Pall bearers will be John Floyd, Cecil Rhoades, Willie Hatfield, Chuck Hines, Macky Bullard, Tom Lewis, Jeff Hatfield, Blake Hatfield, Jason Hatfield and Will Curry.
The family requests that no flowers be sent. Instead, please make a donation for Alzheimer’s Research.