Borland, Melroy

Melroy Borland

Melroy Borland, Lt. Colonel, USAF (Retired)

May 02, 1938 – December 03, 2008

Lt. Col. Melroy (Roy) Borland, United States Air Force, Retired, left this life on December 3, 2008, for the next, after a courageous and uncomplaining battle with cancer. He exhibited the same quiet courage and resolve in his last months as in his life before.

Born May 2nd, 1938, in Roscoe, Texas, the second child of Howard and Daisy Borland, Roy attended school in Hermleigh, Texas and graduated high school in Plains, Texas, where he was a two-year letterman in track and football.

After high school he enlisted in the Air Force, serving a two-year stint as an enlisted man in Okinawa, Japan before receiving a dual Air Force/Congressional appointment to the United States Air Force Academy. Roy was a member of the first class to begin and complete its course of study at the new facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado. An avid Texas marksman, he served as a pistol instructor for his fellow cadets at the academy. He saw the dedication of the new Falcons’ stadium, and his June 1963 graduation address was given by President John F. Kennedy.

After the Academy, Roy completed basic jet training at Reese AFB in Lubbock, Texas, occasionally waking up the folks by “buzzing” his rural home place in Plains (limitations have run,) before moving on to the love of his career, helicopter training in Reno, Nevada. He was deployed to Vietnam, where he flew the Kaman HH-43 Huskie helicopter in his assignment as a member of the Air Rescue Service, where he embodied the mission on his shoulder patch, “That Others May Live.” That mission was the driving force of his military career. In two tours in Vietnam, (he would always insist it was only one and one-half,) he accumulated sixteen air medals, each representing twenty flights over hostile territory, for a total of 320 missions. He was in Vietnam during the Tet offensive. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for rescuing a downed light aircraft reconnaissance pilot off the side of a mountain under heavy enemy fire. The DFC is given to Airmen for “… heroism or extraordinary achievement while engaged in aerial flight.”

During the course of his military career, he also earned the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with Three Silver Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Combat Readiness medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with one Silver Oak Leaf Cluster and One Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Overseas Long Tour Ribbon, Vietnam Service Medal with Four Bronze Service Stars, Air Force Presidential Unit Citation with One Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Three Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

He had duty stations after Vietnam in Big Spring, Texas, RAF Lakenheath, England, the Panama Canal Zone, where he greatly enjoyed flying one of the few Huey gunships the USAF operated (a lot more responsive than the Kaman) and catching peacock bass in the inland lakes, and finally at Holloman AFB, Alamogordo, N.M., where, among other duties, he was operations officer for the three Space Shuttle missions that landed there during his tour of duty. He also completed a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. He retired from active duty on December 31, 1984.

After Vietnam, having met Ann Dunk, an Australian nurse, on R&R in Australia, and having pursued her to Japan and Canada, he finally convinced her to marry him while stationed at Reese AFB in Big Spring, Texas, on December 7, 1968. That delightful Aussie, (despite her habit of directing the rabbits to “run, little rabbit, run!” during the hunt,) and he remained married to his death. To that marriage was born his daughter, Lisa Lea Borland, who (being a Registered Nurse, like her mother, and an exceptional daughter), devoted her entire time and energy to making his last months a time of joy and comfort with his beloved granddaughter, Kayla, and his two grandsons, Rhys and Bryce, at his side, always the ready smile-generators. He was a huge fan of his son-in-law, Andrew Pichler, who was Lisa’s prom date in Australia and eventually tracked her down and married her here in Midland. A long-time King-Air emergency medical evacuation pilot in Australia, Andrew is now a Boeing 747 pilot for Qantas Airlines.

Roy was an avid hunter with a shotgun, rifle and pistol, and loved fishing. He loved hunting dove and quail with his dad, brother, son-in-law and friends, and going to deer camp with us all, where he was always the source of good humor and fun. He was a man’s man, who enjoyed flying, good friends, a good cigar, a good poker game and good spirits. He was a tough guy. He held a 2008/2009 Texas hunting license, and hunted dove with it in late September 2008, treatment notwithstanding. He loved his friends and family without reservation, and they loved him back just the same. To say he will be missed…well, that’s just not enough.

Roy is survived by his wife, Ann, his daughter, Lisa Pichler and her husband Andrew, his granddaughter Kayla and his grandsons Rhys and Bryce, all of Australia; his sister Ann and husband Richard Wall of Midland, Texas; his brother Mike Borland and wife, Vi Lea of Midland, Texas; his aunt, Mable Glass, of Snyder, Texas, and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and by his sister, Donna Beth Borland Jones.

Visitation will be on Friday, December 5, 2008, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Services will be at Ellis Funeral Home Chapel in Midland at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 6, 2008. Graveside services with full military honors will follow at 2:00 p.m. at the Pyron Cemetery in Pyron, Texas. Pallbearers will be Andrew Pichler, Devin Phiffer, Fore Brown, Richard Jeske, Bob Glover, and Steve Dunkley. Honorary pallbearers will be Kurtis Nodolf, Robert White and Wynn “And a dollar!” Poss. (Poker buddies all).

Memorials may be directed to the American Cancer Society, 2304 W. Wadley, Midland, Texas 79705. Arrangements are under the direction of Ellis Funeral Home. To place online condolences please visit

Capt. Borland was a HH-43F pilot with Det. 12, 38th ARRS in Vietnam 1967-1968.

Integrity, Honor, and Respect
Some of the best things cannot be bought, they must be earned

©2020 USAF Rotorheads   All Rights Reserved   |   Web Design Knoxville - StratPoint Solutions  |    Financial Statement