Senior Master Sergeant
Lee R. Giles


Retired Air Force SMSgt Lee R. Giles, age 49, died at his home of heart failure on January 28th, 1979. He was buried with military honors at the Hampton Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Hampton Virginia.

Lee was born September 11th, 1929 in Madisonville, Tennessee. In January of 1946,he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force and was initially trained as a flight mechanic. In 1947 he transferred to the newly created U.S. Air Force and over the course of a 26 year career logged over 12,000 flying hours as an enlisted aviator, primarily in the loadmaster specialty field. He served as an aircrew member during the Berlin Airlift, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and through out the Cold War, flying such diverse aircraft as the C-47, C-54, C119, C-124, C-135, C-130, C141, and the C-7A.

A portion of his 1968-1969 tour in the Republic of Vietnam was served with the 483rd Tactical Airlift Wing, 458th Tactical Airlift Squadron. During his tenure with the 458th TAS, in addition to flying 56 combat airlift missions, SMSgt Giles was instrumental in preparing and instructing the Caribou (C7A) loadmaster portion of the flight engineer's qualification course.

SMSgt Giles' awards and decorations include the Master Aircrew Member Badge, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, and the Air Medal. He retired from the U.S, Air Force in 1972 and was employed as a security specialist in the Newport News, Virginia Shipyards until his death.

Lee is survived by his wife the former Ruth Ann Coburn of Yorktown, Virginia, three sons, Keith Giles of Pembroke, New Hampshire, Christopher Giles of Roanoke, Virginia, Gregory Giles of Hood, Virginia and a daughter Suzanne Reine of Newport News, Virginia." 


13 Jan 2009 03:38 PM