Joe Bob Green, Colonel, USAF (Retired)
October 25, 1932 – October 08, 2018

Joe Bob Green
San Antonio, TX

Joe B. Green. Colonel, USAF (Ret):
Husband, Father, Grandfather, Rancher, And Highly-Decorated USAF Hero

Joe Bob Green, of Eden, Texas, passed away at the age of 85 on October 8th in San Antonio, Texas. Joe was born on October 25, 1932, in Eden where he grew up with his parents Dee and Maude Green and his sisters Pauline and Lahoma. Joe is survived by his wife, Nancy Glenn Green, his two sons, Kelly Eden Green and James Dee Green, his daughter Janice Mae Hess, his eight grandchildren, Adam Dee Green, Nicholas James Green, Lukas James Green, Melanie Elaine Green, Hannah Green Anderson, Christina Diane Green, Erin Rae Clark, Danielle Christine Hess plus his great grand-daughter Arianna Marie Ramirez.

In 1954, Joe entered the United States Air Force where he became duel rated as a navigator and pilot. He flew typhoon penetration over the Pacific Ocean and provided air support for the nuclear weapons testing on Eniwetok and the Bikini Islands.

From 1958 to 1966, he commanded air rescue units in Europe, Africa, and the United States. In 1962, the German Air Force Chief of Staff, awarded then Captain Green the Danke Medal (Medal of Thanks), for directing over 2,000 US and German helicopter rescue sorties during Hamburg’s catastrophic floods. 495 civilians were air lifted to safety and 694 tons of food / supplies were dropped to thousands of stranded survivors. At the time, it was the largest helicopter rescue operation in history.

In 1967 Joe was selected to attend the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base and sent to Vietnam. During the Vietnam War, Joe commanded helicopter rescue crews (to recover shot-down pilots) in Southeast Asia.

Joe personally flew over 30 rescue missions and his bravery led him to be nominated for the Congressional Medal of Honor. Joe was awarded the Air Force Cross, 2 Silver Stars, 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses and 8 Air Medals. He was inducted into the Legion of Valor in 1998. Joe Green was one of the most decorated aviators of the Vietnam War.

From 1969 to 1971, Joe was Director of Research and Development Planning, Headquarters, Military Airlift Command. Joe then attended the Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and was promoted to Colonel, distinguishing him as one of the youngest Colonels in the Air Force.

Joe then served as Senior Military Advisor to Nicaragua and Bolivia. He wrapped up his 21 exemplary years of service as the Director of Plans and Programs for the USAF Security Service. [In 2012, the Daughters of the American Revolution awarded Joe their prestigious “Founders Medal for Patriotism” in recognition of “displaying outstanding patriotism, the promotion of our American ideals of God, Home, and Country, through faithful and meritorious service to community, state and nation.”]

After retirement from the USAF, Joe started a 5-state region for Financial Institutions Services, Inc., a leading national bank marketing organization. Joe’s start-up blossomed into the company’s highest performing region for nine consecutive years.

In 1978, two dreams came true for Joe. He met and married his beloved Nancy and they agreed it was time to finally purchase ranch lands back home in Concho County. In 1980, Joe and Nancy moved to Eden and set up their ranch for exotic deer, antelope and venison production. Their goal of introducing exotic game ranching to Concho County was realized.

Joe continued to serve his hometown of Eden and held numerous positions with organizations like the Eden State Bank, the Exotic Wildlife Association, the Eden Chamber of Commerce, the Southwestern Wool & Mohair Co., Venison World, McCulloch Electric Cooperative, the Axis Oil Corp. and the Concho Valley Private Industry Council.

In 2001, Joe and Nancy retired once again to San Antonio, Texas so they could be more involved in the lives of their children and grandchildren.

[Note from the family of Joe Green] Despite his many accomplishments, Joe’s greatest achievement was leading the Green family. He inspired us, he encouraged us, he taught us, but most of all he loved us. He was a role model that we all sought to emulate. He taught us to be humble yet thankful for our many blessings. He taught us to work hard but also to find time for friends and family. He taught us to do what is right but to apologize and make amends when we made mistakes. He taught us that “service” was a noble endeavor and helped us develop a spirit of giving.

Joe Green will be remembered for the unconditional love he had for his friends and family. He was our hero but also our much-needed accountability. He always found subtle ways to make us better. Our hero will be missed greatly but we are so thankful for the life he was able to live and the positive impact he had on so many lives.

Service is 2:00 p.m. Sunday, October 14, 2018 at Eden Church of Christ, 308 W. Bryan St., Eden, TX 76837 followed by burial in Eden Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers please donate to Spirit of Eden Fund, 120 Paint Rock St.-City Hall, PO Box 915, Eden, TX 76837-0915. Funds local organizations and projects: library, museum, etc. https://www.edentexas.com/spirit-of-eden-fund or Returning Heroes Home, PO Box 593336, San Antonio, TX 78259. (210) 979-2500. A special place. A wonderful facility. Doing amazing work. A place that shows the power of the human spirit to prevail and to help. www.returningheroeshome.org.

Published in GoSanAngelo on Oct. 13, 2018

Air Force Cross
AWARDED FOR ACTIONS
DURING Vietnam War
Service: Air Force
Battalion: 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron
Division: DaNang Air Base, Vietnam
GENERAL ORDERS:

CITATION:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, United States Code, takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Major Joe B. Green, United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as an HH-3E Rescue Crew Commander of the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, 3d Air Rescue and Recovery Group, DaNang Air Base, Vietnam, in action near the A Shau Valley, Republic of Vietnam, on 30 March 1968. On that date, Major Green led a force of four rescue helicopters over hostile territory in low overcast weather to reach the survivors from four downed United States helicopters. Intelligence briefings had disclosed that it was impossible to neutralize the hostile gun emplacements at the rescue site. Despite the knowledge that two additional helicopters were shot down while he was approaching the area Major Green elected to make the initial rescue attempt. He persisted in the rescue attempt after hostile fire forced him away from the site. He made two additional approaches, courageously maintaining the aircraft in a stationary hover until the four most severely wounded survivors were rescued. Only then did fuel shortage, aircraft malfunctions, and the critical nature of the survivors’ wounds compel him to leave the area. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Major Green reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Silver Star
AWARDED FOR ACTIONS
DURING Vietnam War
Service: Air Force
Battalion: 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron
Division: DaNang Air Base, Vietnam
GENERAL ORDERS:

CITATION:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Major Joe B. Green, United States Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while serving as an HH-3E Rescue Crew Commander of the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, 3d Air Rescue and Recovery Group, DaNang Air Base, Vietnam, in action near the A Shau Valley, Republic of Vietnam, on 25 December 1967. On that date, Major Green was scrambled for a rescue effort for two pilots whose plane had been shot down. Because of mountainous terrain and low, overcast cloud cover, it was necessary for Major Green to descend into an area of intense hostile fire in order to locate the survivors. Without fighter escort, Major Green entered the hostile area, after another aircraft had been hit and its pilot seriously wounded, and successfully rescued the downed pilots. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Major Green has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Silver Star
AWARDED FOR ACTIONS
DURING Vietnam War
Service: Air Force
Battalion: 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron
Division: DaNang Air Base, Vietnam
GENERAL ORDERS:
Headquarters, Pacific Air Forces, Special Order G-277 (November 15, 1968)

CITATION:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Silver Star to Major Joe B. Green, United States Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while serving as an HH-3E Rescue Crew Commander of the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, 3d Air Rescue and Recovery Group, DaNang Air Base, Vietnam, in action near the Hue, Republic of Vietnam, on 14 March 1968. On that date, after two rescue helicopters had been seriously damaged by hostile fire, Major Green penetrated an extremely heavily defended hostile area to assist in the attempted rescue of a downed pilot. After the pilot reported that he was surrounded and that capture was imminent, a helicopter gunship, attempting to shoot its way through the hostile forces, was shot down near the downed pilot. Despite intense, accurately directed hostile fire, Major Green, without hesitation, descended and hovered his helicopter until the four injured crewmen were recovered. Disregarding damage to the fuel system and rotors of his helicopter, Major Green took off through the hail of hostile fire to complete the rescue. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Major Green has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Distinguished Flying Cross
AWARDED FOR ACTIONS
DURING Vietnam War
Service: Air Force
Battalion: 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron
Division: DaNang Air Base, Vietnam
GENERAL ORDERS:

CITATION:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Major Joe B. Green, United States Air Force, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as an HH-3E Rescue Crew Commander in Southeast Asia on 27 February 1968. On that date, Major Green penetrated an extremely hostile area to attempt the rescue of a downed crewmember. After breaking off one approach because of hostile activity, Major Green located the survivor on a steep cliff and hovered for twenty-five minutes until the survivor reached a suitable pick up area and was successfully recovered. The professional competence, aerial skill, and devotion to duty displayed by Major Green reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Distinguished Flying Cross
AWARDED FOR ACTIONS
DURING Vietnam War
Service: Air Force
Battalion: 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron
Division: DaNang Air Base, Vietnam
GENERAL ORDERS:

CITATION:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to Major Joe B. Green, United States Air Force, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as an HH3E Rescue Crew Commander in North Vietnam on 18 March 1968. On that date, Major Green penetrated deep into hostile territory in a search and rescue effort for a downed United States pilot. After a prolonged low-level search of the hostile area, Major Green located the survivor and affected his successful rescue. The professional competence, aerial skill, and devotion to duty displayed by Major Green reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Distinguished Flying Cross
AWARDED FOR ACTIONS
DURING Vietnam War
Service: Air Force
Battalion: 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron
Division: DaNang Air Base, Vietnam
GENERAL ORDERS:

CITATION:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting a Second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Third Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross with Combat “V” to Major Joe B. Green, United States Air Force, for heroism while participating in aerial flight as a Rescue Crew Commander of an HH-3E helicopter in Southeast Asia on 2 July 1968. On that date, Major Green penetrated a heavily defended area of North Vietnam to provide cover for the rescue of an injured, downed pilot. Despite accurately directed anti-aircraft fire and flight control malfunctions, he remained over the distress site until the rescue helicopter was driven off. Major Green directed the crippled aircraft out of the hostile area just as another aircraft was shot down. He proceeded directly to the crash site, prepared for an immediate rescue attempt, although he was without escort over active anti-aircraft positions. However, there were no survivors of the crash. The outstanding heroism and selfless devotion to duty displayed by Major Green reflect credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

~Veteran Tributes~

http://www.veterantributes.org/TributeDetail.php?recordID=1188

Integrity, Honor, and Respect
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