On May 14, 2020, Terry Allen Richardson succumbed to the effects of Agent Orange exposure that occurred during his service in Vietnam.
He is survived by his wife, Zenda Johnson-Richardson; sons, Haig Walker Marino of Brooklyn, New York and Daniel Paul Richardson of Springfield, Virginia; daughter, Terri Parris of Paducah; his brothers, Sonny and Darrell Richardson, and many other family members.
A graduate of Bristow High School, he served as an U.S. Air Force B-52 electronic counter measures technician until accepting an appointment to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, in Kings Point, New York. After graduation he served as the Second Officer Navigator aboard an ammunition ship for over a year in Vietnam waters. After volunteering for Naval Aviation pilot training, he won his wings of gold and volunteered for duty with an experimental squadron flying ski-equipped LC-130s in Antarctica. He was then assigned to an anti-submarine squadron flying special-equipped P-3 Orions in Iceland, tracking over 50 Soviet nuclear submarines during his tenure at the unit.
He served as Associate Professor of Naval Science, teaching celestial navigation and leadership courses at NROTC Jacksonville, Florida before being selected for Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. Upon graduation, he received assignment as Operations Officer for an anti-submarine squadron in Jacksonville, and was then selected for Command for a P-3 squadron in Hawaii.
After selection to Senior Naval War College, he served as the Congressional Coordinator for the Secretary of the Navy and Chief Naval Operations at the Pentagon.
Richardson then was assigned to the Patrol and Recon Wing, 7th fleet in Japan before being selected as the Commander Fleet Activities Okinawa and Naval Air Station Kadena.
His final assignment in the Navy was in Washington, D.C. as the Flag representative for Chief Naval Training and as the Director of Shore Station Commanders training, and Flag Total Quality Management Training.
Richardson’s awards and medals earned during his service to his country were many, including: four Legion of Merits, two Meritorious Service, Air Medal, Vietnam Service, Gulf War, Operation III Wind, Cold War Medals, Air Force Good Conduct, and National Defense.
After his retirement, he continued as a commercial pilot for several companies, to include flying for Reba McEntire, Fruit of the Loom, and Spantech. He also served as the Chief Pilot for the State of Tennessee for a number of years.
With over 24,000 hours in over 400 different classes, types and models of aircraft, he held 10 performance ratings and several FAA ratings.
Mentoring hundreds of fledgling pilots during his military and civilian career, he was awarded the FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot designation for his dedication to aviation safety and promotion of professional aviation.
FAIR WINDS AND FOLLOWING SEAS.
J.C. Kirby & Son entrusted with arrangements.