Billie Haltom – An American Hero

Louis Lafayette “Billie” Haltom, 87, a retired Lieutenant Colonel with the United States Air Force, died March 13, 2007 while visiting family in Beaumont, Texas. Col. Haltom, who lived in Alexandria, Virginia, was born in Blake, Texas in Nacogdoches County on June 14, 1919 to Henry Grady and Callie Spinks Haltom.

He grew up in Melrose, Texas and graduated from the Steven F. Austin Demonstration High School in Nacogdoches. Following graduation he attended Steven F. Austin College prior to serving in the Air Force during World War II.

His Air Force service spanned a twenty year period and his military decorations included the Distinguished Flying Cross with two Oak Leaf Clusters and the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters.

After retiring from active military duty in 1960, he worked in the oil industry in Witchita, Kansas before returning to government service with USAID as the Director of Aid for the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. In this role he was responsible for programs that built schools and roads serving the people of the region. He later worked for the United States Postal Service and for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in the Department of the Treasury.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by sisters Louise Haltom and Zenie Williams. He is survived by his sister Sue Jean Dunn, and his niece Betty Dunaway and nephews Ronnie Williams, Kevin Dunn, and Kyle Dunn.

Services will be held in Nacogdoches at Laird-McGill Funeral Home on Friday, March 15, 2007 at 2:00 PM with visitation beginning at 11:00 AM. Col. Haltom will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

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