CW3 Billy E. Ball was a potential VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 02/15/1993 at the age of 61.7 from Heart condition
Fort Worth, TX
Flight Class 57-8
Date of Birth 06/23/1931
Served in the U.S. Army
This information was provided by William Ball (son), SSN deceased search

More detail on this person: My father CWO Billy E. Ball, was active duty for almost twenty years. He served as an infantryman in Korea, went through flight school and flew H-21s in Vietnam early in that war (1963 I think it was), and retired in 1967. After leaving Germany upon his retirement, we moved to Ft. Worth where he took a position with Southern Airways as an I.P. at Ft. Wolters. He flew there until that training was moved to Ft. Rucker in the early 70s. At that point gave up his love of aviation, returned to the private sector as a businessman in Ft. Worth, and I lost him to a heart condition in 1993.

He inspired me for my entire life, so much so that I too become an aviator. My eyesight kept me out of the military (20/12 far vision, 20/30 near vision...that killed my chances), so I went the civilian route and was hired by Northwest Orient Airlines as a flight crewmember in 1983 (my vision had "matured" to a perfect 20/20 by then). I've been with them now for 25 years, fly currently as a Boeing 757 Captain, and continue my love of aviation (especially as it applies to military flying). A side note, my son will commission as a 2nd Lt. from his Montana State ROTC program this spring.

I'm currently writing an article about something that my father did for me that (to this day) is one of the most incredible memories of our time together. When I was roughly 12 yrs old, he several times took me out to Ft. Wolters with him to "ride shotgun" during his days training cycle. I would sit in on his student briefings, ride out to the "Stage Field" in a pickup truck with whomever drew that duty for the day, and spend the next several hours just "playing mascot" to all the I.P.s and students that came and went through the building at that site. You were all so much "bigger than life" to me back then (and still are by the way), and the hours that I spent in that world of noise, action and (perceived) danger was like nothing I had ever experienced. Those were amazing hours to say the least.

From: William Ball

This information was last updated 05/18/2016

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Date posted on this site: 03/10/2024

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