Howard Joseph Pierson

August 27, 1927March 10, 2013

Howard Joseph Pierson was born on August 27, 1927 and passed away on March 10, 2013 in Novato, CA.


  • Interment Friday, March 15, 2013
  • Memorial Service Friday, March 15, 2013
  • Memorial Mass Saturday, March 16, 2013

Howard Joseph Pierson

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June 21, 2013

Howard was a true Patriot. My husband was a '52 Charlie pilot & a close Buddy at Reese AFB. He promoted the romance of Howie & Gilberta. We'll miss him with all our hearts. (Rita Alvarado, FL)

Randy Thurman

May 9, 2013

To: Col. Pierson's family:
It is rare that a man has such an impact on people he met in EVERY phase of his life. I was only a 23 yr old pilot flying in his squadron. 40 years later I can truly say that no man has ever served as a better role model in my life. He was a man's man, a soldier's soldier and a pilot's pilot. As recently as two years ago he wrote a letter to my 90 year old mother reflecting on his experiences with me. It is a testimonial to the content of the man that we never see in today's leaders. I've met many Generals and many political "leaders." None are half the man of Howie Pierson.

Debra Cable

May 9, 2013

Howard was the most amazing man I have ever met . My "Spiritual" Father. Wise ,kind,firm ,loving... No words can describe.. The world has lost a wonderful man but God has welcomed home an angel .. I love you Dad and I will not forget your teachings.

Gary McDaniel

April 24, 2013

Howie was a character that can't be replaced. All the tributes apply, Warrior, Leader, Friend, Aviator and on. The same demeanor, tempered with age, is why he continued to be so endeared by many. Good man that will be missed by many. He was my student squadron commander for a portion of the time when I went through pilot training, Reese, 68-69. May he rest in peace.

Captain Ron Knott

April 15, 2013

A Message to Gilberta

My love, don't stand over my body and weep,
For I am not here, I do not sleep.
The angels transported me in one big leap,
I am now at peace, and well, at Jesus' feet.

“Bless you Howard,” Jesus said,
“I was with you on that sick bed,
And I heard every prayer that was said,
But it was time for you to be with Me instead.”

Gilberta thanks for your loving care
When I needed help you was always there.
With your help the pain I could bear
You are an angel on earth I declare.

I am sorry I was so sick at the end,
But you loved me and nursed me again and again.
Without you, where would I have been?
You are truly a beautiful person without, and within.

My lovely Gilberta is now a “Lonesome Dove”
But God will comfort you from above.
With His protection and everlasting love,
You too is His special beloved.

It's so great to see my old friends, and kin.
Who will never be old again.
They embraced me, and welcomed me in.
I am not dead;
I am more alive than I have ever been.

Jesus had a record of all I had prayed for and fed.
He provided for my sin, and theirs, when He bled.
I am grateful I obeyed what He had written and said;
Now I am alive forever more; I am not dead.

Yes, I am with Jesus in the sky;
I tell you the truth, I do not lie.
My departure was in His plan,
And we will soon be together again.

Don't stand at my grave and cry, I am not there, I did not die.


Hilda Adams

April 15, 2013

Charlie Yates

April 10, 2013

Messages from Charlie Yates
War Letters
August 16, 1973

The war is finally over- the last bomb was dropped at 10:44. The last two days were really pretty neat. The 14th I had the Ream go – fly a mission, land at Ream, refuel and go home. I had a navigator in the back seat – his first time into Ream. It gave me one last chance to do some “flathatting.” The beaches down there are just beautiful. We'd get right down on the deck along the beach and pull up to go over the trees…..Only the old heads were scheduled to fly the last day. Every backseat was filled. Woody and I flew together- me in the front, him in the back. Before we took off we briefed with Col Pierson, Powers, and another guy for a four-ship, five-flight fly by – the last FAC combat mission. We were the last ones out of the war zone….. The party that night was okay- we only got kicked out of the club 3 times.

August 19, 1973

One of these days the true story of the FAC is going to come out. If it wasn't for us none of those A-7's or F-4's could have dropped the ‘last bomb.” Just being in on the 3 last days this year really made me glad I didn't take an F-4. I probably would never have had a commander like I have now. There's not guy in the squadron that wouldn't follow Col. Howard (Howie) Pierson, “Blue Suiter,” anywhere. He's going to the FAC reunion so you will get to meet him.

October 29, 2010

Howie, you're my hero, my mentor, my friend, and a brother in Christ. It was indeed an honor to serve with you in combat. Not only did you personify the spirit of Douglas MacArthur….”Yours is the profession of arms; the will to win, the sure knowledge that in a way, there is no substitute for victory.”, but you inspired your lieutenants to follow your lead.

With gratitude and love,
Charlie Yates, Nail 50 & B

“Blessed is the Lord, my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle….” – Psalm 144:1

Bud Skipworth

April 9, 2013

1973, combat in Cambodia! We flew hard and took our losses. You were a great commander, mentor, friend, and Bud. You were our leader and we were the young men of summer, strong, proud, dedicated, brave, and beautiful.
Set up the next rendezvous and we will be there. I look forward to once again, being on your wing.

Bill Lupo

April 4, 2013

The world has lost the presence of a great man

Charles Hansen

April 2, 2013

I feel honored to have served with this warrior on a B-52G crew during my EWO days and he was the CP. When I hear the words, "FLY FIGHT WIN" I think of him. I, along with my dad and brothers had some great golf times with him during those years as well. I was also blessed to have met his Pop. He will be missed by many.