In memory of
Willard Selleck Gideon
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In memory of
Willard Selleck Gideon
Willard Selleck Gideon MT. PLEASANT - Col. Willard Selleck Gideon, 85, of Mt. Pleasant, widower of Jeannine H. Gideon, passed away on October 10, 2016 at his residence. A Celebration of Life service will be held at Omar Shrine Convention Center, 176 Patriots Point Road, Mt. Pleasant on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 beginning at 6 o'clock PM. Burial will be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA. Col. Gideon was born on June 3, 1931 in Takoma Park, MD, son of the late Willard Gideon and Eloise (Selleck) Gideon. He graduated from Washington and Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia in 1949. After attending Butler Prep School, Col. Gideon enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1952. It was in the Air Force that Col. Gideon discovered his passion for flying. He started flight training in 1952 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lt and awarded his pilot wings in March, 1954. Col. Gideon flew a number of aircraft (F-80, F-86, F-100) in his early years in the Air Force. Because of his superior skill as a pilot, Col. Gideon was selected to be part of the Europe Aerial Demonstration Team (European version of the Thunderbirds) from 1960 to 1962. After his tour in Europe, Col. Gideon transferred to Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada and became an instructor pilot in the F-105 Thunderchief. In 1965 Col. Gideon was transferred to Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa as a F-105 pilot. During this time Col. Gideon also flew combat missions over North Vietnam. In August 1966, while on his 55th combat mission 25 miles northeast of Hanoi, Col. Gideon was shot down and taken prisoner of war. After 2,402 days in captivity, Col. Gideon was released during Operation Homecoming in March, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at Wright Patterson Air Force Base and then attended the Air War College in Montgomery, Alabama. Col. Gideon then attended the University of Nebraska and was awarded his bachelor's degree in 1976. Col. Gideon then served as Chief of Supply for the 437th Supply Squadron and Deputy Commander for Resource Management for the 437th Airlift Wing at Charleston Air Force Base from 1976 until his retirement from the Air Force in June 1983. During his time in the Air Force, Col. Gideon received numerous awards including the Silver Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Both the Silver Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross were awarded to Col. Gideon due to his superior skill, aggressiveness, and determination to complete assigned missions even while facing heavy enemy fire. During his retirement, Col. Gideon continued his interest in aviation, worked on his tennis game, traveled, and most importantly; he loved to spend time with his family and friends. Surviving are: two children: Willard Gideon, II (Catherine) of Ballston Spa, NY and Georgia Gideon of Glenville, NY; three stepchildren: Bruce Orme (Kimberly) of Hanahan, Craig Orme (Pamela) of Charleston and Renee Orme Orander (Andrew) of Charleston; one sister: Eloise Collins (Harry) of Barrington, RI; eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38101-9908 or to the Salvation Army, 4248 Dorchester, Road, North Charleston, SC 29405. A memorial message may be written to the family by visiting our website at . ARRANGEMENTS BY JAMES A. DYAL FUNERAL HOME, 303 SOUTH MAIN STREET, SUMMERVILLE, SC 29483 (843)873-4040. Visit our guestbook at charleston
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