Mullins & Thompson Funeral Service

1621 Jefferson Davis Highway, Fredericksburg, VA


Colonel Roy Morgan II Stanley, (USAF, Ret.)

January 16, 1936June 28, 2020

Colonel Roy M. Stanley II (USAF, Ret.), of Fredericksburg passed away peacefully at Mary Washington Hospital on Sunday, June 28, 2020. Roy was born in Chicago, IL, to John Hiram Stanley and Mary Pauline Becker. He grew up in Western Springs, IL and graduated from DePauw University, Greencastle, IN, in 1958 with an ROTC commission as 2nd Lt. in the Air Force. That same year he married the love of his life, Mary Ellen Arnold of Kenilworth, IL, and began studies for a Master’s Degree at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. After graduation in 1959, he attended the Photo Intelligence School at Sheppard AFB, Texas, which would shape his future career both in the Air Force and as an author of military history. He began a 27-year long career in the Air Force at Yokota Air Base, Japan. Roy pioneered the use of data automation for photo intelligence involving SR-71 and U-2 missions. During his 1965-66 tour in Vietnam, he used electronic intelligence to discover where surface-to-air missile (SAM) sites were, so he could advise pilots to avoid them, saving lives. This would become the subject of his book “Chasing SAM”. He served combat tours in Vietnam and Thailand. During a Defense Intelligence Agency assignment in Washington, DC he discovered a huge cache of German aerial photos from World War II which were marked for destruction due to the volatile nature of the silver nitrate film. He was able to make copies before they were destroyed and arranged to have the photos preserved in the National Archives. He ended his long career serving at the Pentagon. His awards include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with Three Oak Leaf Clusters, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, among others. Roy lived with his family in Fairfax VA, where he was a Boy Scout troop leader and participated in numerous hikes and camping trips. After his retirement, he and his wife moved to Fredericksburg, where he enjoyed building a large model railroad, and writing articles for Model Railroading magazine. He authored a total of 12 Military history books, and appeared in two BBC documentaries. Roy was an active member of Friends of the Rappahannock in its early years and an outspoken advocate for the river. He had many opinions, which he freely expressed in numerous letters to the Editor of the Free Lance-Star. He is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Mary; son, Roy M. Stanley III; daughters, Julia A. Nelius and Deborah Hoyhtya; two brothers, Rev. John H. Stanley and Dr. James C. Stanley; and six grandchildren. A private service will be held at Quantico National Cemetery on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in his name to the Fisher House Foundation (www.fisherhouse.org) or the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank, 3631 Lee Hill Dr, Fredericksburg, VA 22408. Online condolences may be sent at www.mullinsthompsonfredericksburg.com


  • Graveside Service

    Wednesday, July 8, 2020


Colonel Roy Morgan II Stanley, (USAF, Ret.)

have a memory or condolence to add?

David Peterson

July 7, 2020

Mary and family,

I was so sorry to read of Roy’s passing. I was not aware of how rich and full his life was, but I appreciated the glimpses of it at the office and in the newspaper: his intelligence, opinions, his love of family and the Rappahannock River.....and his well thought out opinions. Diane’s and my thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

Laurel Mayer

July 5, 2020

Condolences to Mary Ellen and family.
Roy and I went to intel school together in 1959-60
and I worked with him during a couple of later assignment.
As his resume reflects, outstanding career of accomplishments'
Laurel Mayer

Hugh Schulhof

July 5, 2020

I was a very small part of his life at the Beta House at DePauw, Class of '58, Roy was extremely intelligent and had an extraordinarily strong commitment to the Military. It was clear it would be his future.
Lost contact with him from '58 on but am not a bit surprised to read of his accomplishments. A devoted American and a great Patriot.
Tuck Schulhof