From a contemporary press report:
Laurence C. Parfitt Jr., 78, a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel who was a Korean and Vietnam war veteran, died August 27, 2003, at Inova HealthPlex in Springfield, Virginia, after a heart attack. He had lived in Alexandria for 39 years.
Colonel Parfitt, the son of a Navy Commander, was born in Norfolk, Virginia. He joined the Army Air Corps in 1942, earning his pilot's wings and receiving his commission as a Second Lieutenant at age 19.
He served as a flight instructor and then attended combat crew training just as the war ended. He worked as a crop duster and radio announcer before he was recalled to active duty during the Korean War.
He flew 100 fighter-bomber missions, including one in which he crash-landed his jet in a rice paddy after the engine was disabled by enemy groundfire.
He served in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969 as a senior duty officer with the 7th Air Force Command Center. His responsibilities included directing airstrikes against North Vietnam.
Colonel Parfitt was later assigned to Andrews Air Force Base, where he retired for health reasons in 1976 as chief of the operations and training division of the 1st Composite Wing.
During his years in the military, he graduated from Syracuse University and received a master's degree in business from George Washington University.
His military decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star and the Meritorious Service Medal.
In retirement, he became an active member of the Northern Virginia Radio Control Club for model airplane enthusiasts.
Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Jane Vance Parfitt of Alexandria; six children, Drenda Maclulaitis of Brandon, Mississippi, Janice Causey of Louisville, Vance Parfitt of Richmond Hill, Georgia, and Laurence C. Parfitt III, Jeffrey Parfitt and Christopher Parfitt, all of Alexandria; three sisters, Jane Hruby of Cleveland, Grace Ingham of Randallstown, Maryland, and Betty Keepin of New York; five grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.
PARFITT, LAURENCE C. (LARRY)
On Wednesday, August 27, 2003 of Alexandria, VA. Loving husband of Jane Parfitt; beloved father of Drenda Maciulaitis, Janice Causey, Lawrence C. Parfitt III, George Vance Parfitt, Jeffrey E. Parfitt, and Christopher T. Parfitt; brother of Jane Hruby, Grace Ingham, and Betty Keepein. He is also survived by five grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
A graveside service with Full Military Honors will be held on Tuesday, October 7, at 11 a.m. at Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, Memorials and Tributes Processing Center, PO Box 5216, Glen Allen, VA 23058.
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard