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U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Andrew J. Calliham Jr., Lt. Colonel USAF (Retired)June 17, 1933 – May 20, 2009
CALLIHAM, Andrew J. Jr., 75, of Greenville, S.C., passed away Wednesday, May 20, 2009, at Richard B. Campbell Veterans Home. Born in Perry, Fla., he was the son of the late Andrew J. Calliham, Sr. and Jessie McDaniel Calliham.
Mr. Calliham retired as a lieutenant colonel from the U.S. Air Force, having served his country for 21 years. While in the Air Force, he served two tours of duty in Vietnam, the first as a combat pilot. Later, he volunteered to be retrained in helicopter rescue. He once flew a helicopter across the Pacific Ocean with a cracked windshield he had put together with duct tape. He flew the vice president in Air Force II and he rescued the astronauts when they landed the Apollo capsules in the ocean. He loved this job and wanted to become an astronaut himself. Col. Calliham was the recipient of numerous awards and medals too numerous to mention, including the Distinguished Flying Cross for rescuing downed pilots under heavy enemy fire. He was a peace-loving man who hated war, but loved his country and felt it was his duty to be where he could help out the most.
After retiring from the military, he was a senior vice president with Florida Federal Savings and Loan. He was a member of Unity Church of Greenville in Taylors, S.C.
Surviving are his wife, Susan Bailey Calliham, of the home; two sons, Scott Calliham and wife, Toni, of Memphis, Tenn., and Drew Calliham of Tampa; three step-children, Karen Bailey and Jennifer Covert, both of Greenville, and Greg Riser of Portland, Ore.; a sister, and brother, Louise Keatts and Paul Calliham, both of Tampa; six grandchildren, Sara Calliham, Brian Calliham, Ember Covert, Jordan Covert, Kyle Phillips and Sean Phillips; and one great-grandchild, Davien Covert. He was predeceased by a son, Rory Calliham.
A memorial service will take place at 6 p.m. Sunday at Unity Church of Greenville, 207 E. Belvue Road, Taylors, SC 29687. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www. thehowzemortuary.com
The Howze Mortuary, Travelers Rest, S.C., is in charge of arrangements. (864) 834-8051Published in TBO.com on May 22, 2009