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Retired Col. Ralph S. Parr Jr. dies, memorial service announced

Retired Col. Ralph Parr flew a P-38 Lightning in World War II and an F-86 Sabre during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He is the only military member to be award the Distinguished Service Cross and the Air Force Cross. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.)

Retired Col. Ralph Parr, who sadly passed away Dec. 7, 2012, flew a P-38 Lightning in World War II and an F-86 Sabre during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He is the only military member to be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Air Force Cross. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.)

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Col. Ralph S. Parr Jr., 88, who was the only American pilot to receive both the Distinguished Service Cross and the Air Force Cross, passed away Dec. 7 at an assisted living facility in New Braunfels, Texas.

Joint Base San Antonio will honor the legacy of one of the Air Force's most celebrated pilots and a former 12th Tactical Fighter Wing commander at a funeral service planned for 11:30 a.m. Monday in the JBSA-Randolph theater. Interment will follow the funeral service at 2 p.m. at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.

Parr was born in 1924 in Portsmouth, Va. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve Nov. 4, 1942 and was accepted into the Aviation Cadet Program Feb. 2, 1943, earning his wings and a commission in the U.S. Army Air Forces Feb. 8, 1944. Parr was forced to retire in 1976 after sustaining a back injury while inspecting a roof for hurricane damage at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

During his career, he flew 641 combat missions with more than 6,000 hours and received more than 60 decorations, including a Silver Star, Bronze Star, 10 Distinguished Flying Crosses and 41 Air Medals.

Funeral services will be held at the Old Movie Theatre behind the Taj Mahjal at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, Monday, Dec. 17, at 11:30 a.m. Burial will follow at the Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery with full military honors at 2 p.m.

Parr is survived by his wife, Margaret, and three stepchildren.

Read the Joint Base San Antonio release about the memorial service here.

Or copy/paste this URL: http://www.aetc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123329856

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