Frank Jennings Parrish – Brigadier General, United States Air Force

Brigadier General (Retired) Frank Jennings Parrish of Manassas, Virginia, died on August 5, 2008 at Prince William Hospital following a long illness. He was 84.


Frank J. Parrish was born in Manassas, Virginia, the third of five children of Edgar G. and Alverda J. Parrish. He was graduated from Osbourn High School and attended Virginia Tech until the outbreak of World War II. Already an early avid pilot, Parrish volunteered for service in the Army Air Forces, trained and piloted C-46 and C-47 aircraft in 75 missions over the Himalaya Mountains (“The Hump”) behind enemy lines shuttling from Northern Burma to Kunming, China in the China-Burma-India Theatre. He was 20 years old.

After the War, Parrish continued his 42 years service as a command pilot in the U. S. Air Force Reserve, being last  promoted to the rank of Brigadier General, a rare accomplishment for a Reservist. He flew support missions carrying troops and equipment in C-119, C-124, and C-130 aircraft during the Korean War and Vietnam War. He logged more than 13,000 flying hours. General Parrish was  Commander of the 909th Tactical Airlift Group and the 756th Military Airlift Squadron at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. When he retired in 1983, General Parrish was mobilization augmentee to the Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations at the Pentagon. During his career, Parrish received 21 decorations, including the Air Force Commendation Medal, Legion of Merit, and Outstanding Unit Awards.

As a civilian, Frank Parrish was the principal founder of Manassas Frozen Food in 1946, which merged with Manassas Ice & Fuel Company (MIFCO) in 1979. He was past president of both the Virginia Frozen Food Association and the National Institute of Locker & Freezer Provisioners. Parrish was a founding stockholder of MIFCO and was a member of its board of directors until his death.

General Parrish was a Lifetime Member of the Manassas Kiwanis Club and Manassas Volunteer Fire Company. He was a past member of the Northern Virginia Board  of the American Heart Association and the Business Advisory Board of Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale.

Frank J. Parrish is survived by his wife of 24 years, the former Mary Jane Biser of the North Hills, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. He is survived by a son and a daughter by his first marriage of 38 years to Lorene Lomax that ended in divorce, Edgar L. Parrish of Bethesda, Maryland and Julia Lorene Parrish of Fairfax, Virginia, two grandsons, Robert A. W. Parrish and Stephen E. M. Parrish, two sisters, Mildred P. Erisman of Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Nancy P. Lawson of Manassas, Virginia.

Funeral services will take place on Saturday, August 9, 2008 at 4:00 P.M. at Grace United Methodist Church, Manassas. General Parrish will be buried with full military honors on October 20, 2008 at Arlington National Cemetery.

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