BROOKS "PAPPY" J. LILES
June 3, 1923-May 28, 2008
LEXINGTON -- Brooks "Pappy" J. Liles, Lt. Col., USAF (Ret.), died Wednesday, May 28, 2008 in Lexington, S.C. He was born in Archer Lodge, N.C., (Johnston County), June 3, 1923, son of the late Samuel and Nannie Liles. Burial with full military honors will be held in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008.
Brooks entered the Army Air Corps in 1940, earning his pilot wings in 1943. During WWII, he was credited with his first aerial victory before being shot down over Czechoslovakia on his 70th mission. He was captured and remained a P.O.W. during the last few months of the war. He returned to civilian life giving flying lessons at the local airport in Beaufort, N.C. where he met his future wife, Betty Ruth Hussey. His longing to fly fighter planes took him back to the Army Air Corp in 1947 and he was soon engaged in the Korean War where he was credited with four more aerial victories flying the F-86 Sabre Jet.
Covering WWII and the Korean War, Brooks earned the distinction of becoming an Ace, an honor going to those fighter pilots having shot down five or more enemy aircraft. After 100 combat missions in Korea, he was assigned to Nellis A.F.B. in Las Vegas, Nev., training future F-86 pilots for the Air Force. He was one of five pilots selected from an elite group to participate in the 1955 World Gunnery Meet; in which his team won the championship.
After a European assignment in France and Germany, he returned to the United States and retired in 1965 from Seymour Johnson A.F.B. in Goldsboro, N.C. Among the many medals he earned were the Silver Star (pending), Distinguished Flying Cross, 14 Air Medals, Air Force Commendation Medal and the Purple Heart.
He began a second career as a stockbroker in Raleigh, N.C., again returning to Goldsboro to continue his brokerage career until retiring in 1990.
He loved the game of golf and always looked forward to playing a foursome with his three sons. To his daughter, he was her hero. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 54 years, Betty Ruth Hussey Liles of Beaufort, N.C. and five brothers and four sisters. Surviving are his three sons, Brooks Liles Jr. and wife, Sandy, of Palm Bay, Fla., Bruce Liles and wife, Martha, of Irmo, S.C., Gary Liles and wife, Hannah; two granddaughters, Amanda and Emily Liles of Lexington, S.C.; daughter, Luann McCain and husband, Bob, of Wingate, N.C.; sister, Judy Hanke of North Hollywood, Calif., sister-in-law, Rita Cockrell and husband, Roger, of Wilson, N.C. and many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the staff of Day Break Adult Care Services, especially, Johnnie Mae Dixon for her love and care of our dad over the last several years. Also special thanks to Palmetto Health Hospice Care.
Our family has lost a father and grandfather and America has lost one of the heroes of "The Greatest Generation." In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Air Force Memorial Fund, One Air Force Memorial Drive, Arlington, Va. 22204 or The Palmetto Health Hospice Care, P.O. Box 7275, Columbia, S.C. 29202 or to a charity of your choosing.
Published in Obituaries on June 1, 2008 1:27 PM