MAJ William "Bill" E. Callender was a VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 01/17/2014 at the age of 76.3 from Home accident
Orange Beach, AL
Flight Class 63-4T
Date of Birth 09/17/1937
Served in the U.S. Army
Served in Vietnam with A/227 AHB 1 CAV in 66-67, 175 AHC in 68-69
Call signs in Vietnam CHICKENMAN, OUTLAW 6, MAVERICK
This information was provided by Cliff Richard, James DeWit

More detail on this person: James DeWitt sent the following to Mike Law who sent it to The Aviator: here is the obit for Bill as it appeared in the Mobile Register. The bold and underscored print were my emphasis in addition to adding a few important points that were omitted in the obit. The obit says he served "multiple" tours [I believe he served 2 tours?] his first tour was as a ground pounder, much of his time was spent as a LRP; then he returned for a second tour as a helicopter pilot. Not included in the obit: Bill served as president of the Alabama Battleship Commission and was selected for inclusion in the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame. Bill was very active in South Alabama Honor Flight and gave key support in securing the South Alabama Veterans Cemetery.

Colonel (US Army Retired) William Edward Callender, Sr. died on January 17, 2014. He is preceded in death by his sister Magalyne Bell, his brother Al Callender, and his son William Edward Callender, Jr. He is survived by his wife Jacqueline Bachar Callender; his three daughters Ginger (Jay) Hawkins, Cyndi Callender and Tammy (Jeff) Hadley, 12 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren. He will be deeply missed by friends and family. Known as Bill, Billy, Willy, Dad, Granddaddy, and most often and affectionately 'THE' Colonel to family and friends, Colonel (US Army Retired) Callender was known for his work for veterans, his service on the Battleship Commission, his decorated military career, and his love of fishing and Alabama football. He was born in Mobile, Alabama on September 17, 1937 to Alton Brooks and Ouida Adelle (Everett) Callender; he was a graduate of Murphy High School, Class of 1956 and the University of Alabama, Class of 1960. Colonel (US Army Retired) Callender also has graduate degrees from Kansas State University and the University of South Alabama. He and Jacqueline were married in 1958 and he began his military career in 1960. He served multiple tours in Vietnam and was the recipient of the Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross, the Soldier's Medal and the Gallantry Cross with Bronze Star Medal. He was also awarded the Gulf Coast Veteran of the Year in 2006. After his military career, Colonel (US Army Retired) Callender moved into a second career working at the University of South Alabama and the Baldwin County School Board. When he fully retired, he and Jacqueline moved to Orange Beach, Alabama where he spent his time serving on the Battleship Commission, advocating for veterans, traveling with his wife, and fishing. The family will receive visitors to view Bill from 4pm to 8pm on Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at Pine Crest Funeral Home and Cemeteries, 1939 Dauphin Island Parkway in Mobile. The funeral service will be held Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 2pm at the Battleship Memorial Park, 2703 Battleship Parkway in Mobile. Burial will follow in Pine Crest Cemetery.

Published in the Mobile Register and Baldwin County from Jan.18 to Jan. 19, 2014

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - FOX10 News has learned retired Army Colonel Bill Callender, the immediate past president of the Battleship commission, has died. Callender died from complications related to a recent fall, according to Executive Director of the USS Alabama Battleship Bill Tunnell. "Bill fell last weekend off his deck and cracked two vertebrae in his neck and eventually passed away from complications from that accident," said Tunnell. Callender was a decorated veteran who served two tours in Vietnam. His first tour in Vietnam was as an Army ranger. He sat down with FOX10's Eric Reynolds for The Interview in 2012 and talked about his time in the military. "The mission was to go out and look and listen, but it was dirty and stealthy, quiet and hazardous, very hazardous," said Callender. During his second tour, he returned as an Army helicopter pilot. "That little bitty metal on there doesn't protect you very much, we did have armor seats up front, no armor seats in the back, no armor in front of you, and you're just sitting or slow moving target," said Callender. Flags are flying half-staff at the place Callender loved, USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. Callender believed places like the memorial park are important reminders of our past and the cost of freedom. Executive Director, Bill Tunnell, remembers his friend. "His leadership was absolutely incredible. He had a huge heart but he was a great administrator and a great leader. He had a great vision for what the park needs to be,' Tunnell. Callender will be remembered for his service and his heart for those who've served. "I was blessed to have great men, young and old to do the missions with...God bless them all," said Callender in 2012. Callender's close friend Hal pierce says "his passing is a stark reminder of our mortality. he says life goes on but it ain't the same." Bill Callender was 76

This information was last updated 05/03/2013

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