Harrison W. Matthews



Preferred Name: 
Harry

Nickname/Call Sign:

Date of Birth: December 12, 1935

Highest Military Grade Held: Colonel

Hometown: Oklahoma City, OK

Biography

Harrison Matthews was born in Oklahoma City, OK to Torrence and Dorothy Matthews. After attending Classen High School in Oklahoma City and the University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, he enlisted in the US Air Force in 1952. He attended Flight Training at Lackland, Graham and Greenville and in March of 1954 received his wings and commission as a Second Lieutenant. He was awarded as a Distinguished Graduate.
Matthew’s first operational assignment was with the 723rd Fighter Day Squadron at Foster AFB in Texas flying the F-86F and later the F-100C. It was there that he married Joyce Mary Bush in 1955 and was promoted to 1st Lieutenant.  They would have 3 sons together.
After TDY’s in Morocco and Japan, Captain Harrison flew his first mission into Vietnam in March of 1965. It was during this conflict that he won his first Distinguished Flying Cross as Commander on the attack against Diem Bien Phu.
In 1967 he was promoted to Major while serving as an Instructor Pilot at McConnell AFB, in Kansas. In 1968 Major Matthews became part of the “Wild Weasels” sitting “alert” at Osan Air Base in Korea. He became Commander of the Squadron that same year while stationed at Korat Air Base in Thailand, and flew the F105F.
October of 1968 found Matthews back in the US at Bergstrom Air Force Base in Texas where he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. In November of 1972 Lt. Colonel Matthews was back in Thailand as the Commander of the 17th Wild Weasel Squadron. In 1975 he was promoted to Colonel while serving as Director Plans & Evaluation, Tactical Air Warfare Center (TAWC), Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Matthews also served with the 831st Air Division as Special Assistant for ANG Affairs and Inspector General (George AFB, CA) from 1979-1982.
Colonel Harrison Matthews retired from the US Air Force in December of 1982.
He then began to work in the construction industry and joined the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks. Harry and Joyce bought a home in Hill Country near Mountain Home, TX and formed the H & H Repair Corporation (where he was CEO, CFO, etc of the Sales & Service of Outdoor Power Equipment). He became the Exalted Ruler of the Kerrville Elks Lodge # 2081 and joined The Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW). Eventually, the Matthew’s sold the business and moved to Fredericksburg, TX.  Joyce Matthews passed away August 13, 2001, from cancer after 46 and a half years of our marriage.
In 2008 Harrison married Anne Mary Smith. Harrison Matthews served as Seven-time Commander of the Hill Country Chapter of MOWW; Commander, Department of Texas MOWW; Commander, Region VIII MOWW and was elected General Staff Officer for the National Headquarters of MOWW.  He also formed and was President of the Super Senior Golf Association, is a Wild Weasel Society Member; Life Member of Order of Daedaliens; Life Member of Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association (River Rats); Life member F-86 Sabre Pilots Association; Charter Member of Super Sabre Society,  and, of course, member of Aviation Cadet Class 54-E “Awesome Aviators

Units Assigned

  • 12/31/1952 Enlisted in the USAir Force as Aviation Cadet
  • 1/1953-3/1953 Pre-flight training, Lackland AFB, San Antonio, TX
  • 3/1953-9/1953 Primary Flight Training, Graham AB, FL (PA-18, T-6)
  • 9/1953-3/1954 Basic Flight Training, Greenville AFB, MS, (T-28, T-33)
  • 3/1954-7/1954 Gunnery school at Laughlin AFB, TX (AT-33)/ Luke AFB, AZ (F-84E)
  • 7/1954-7/1956 723rd Fighter-Day Squadron, Foster AFB, TX (F-86F, F-100C)
  • 7/1956-1/1958 45th Fighter-Day Squadron, Fighter Pilot/Instructor Pilot, Sidi Slimane AB, Morocco, Africa (F-100 C/D)
  • 2/1958-7/1961 3597th /4523rd Combat Crew Training Squadron, Nellis AFB, NV (F-100 A/C/D/ F)
  • 7/1961-7/1965 12th Tactical Fighter Squadron/18th Tactical Fighter Wing, Kadena AB, Okinawa (F-100D/F, F-105D)
  • 8/1965-10/1967 560th Tactical Fighter Squadron, McConnell AFB, KS.  (F-105 B/D/ F)
  • 10/1967-1/1968: 4537th Fighter Weapons Squadron (Wild Weasel school), Nellis AFB, NV.  (F-105F)
  • 1/1968-3/1968: 4537th Fighter Weapons Squadron/18th Tactical Fighter Wing, Wild Weasel alert, Osan AB, South Korea (F-105F)
  • 3/1968-10/1968 44th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Wild Weasel Flight Commander, Korat Royal Thai AFB, Thailand (F-105F)
  • 10/1968-10/1972 12th Air Force, Stan Eval Flight Examiner, Chief Fighter Division/Ass’t Director Stan Eval, Bergstrom AFB, TX (F-105 D/F, O-2A)
  • 10/1972-11/1973 17th Wild Weasel Squadron, Squadron Commander, Korat RTAFB, Thailand (F-105G)
  • 11/1973-7/1975 Director Plans & Evaluation, Tactical Air Warfare Center (TAWC), Eglin AFB, FL
  • 7/1975-8/1979 113th Tactical Fighter Wing (ANG), Senior Air Force Advisor, Andrews AFB, MD (F-105 D/F, A-37)
  • 8/1979-12/1982 831st Air Division, Special Assistant for ANG Affairs and Inspector General, George AFB, CA (F-105G)
  • December 31, 1982, Retired USAF

Awards & Decorations

 Distinguished Flying Cross (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters)
 Meritorious Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster)
 Air Medal (with 11 Oak Leaf Clusters)

Flight Info

PA-18
T-6
T-28
T-33
F-84E
F-86F
F-100 A/C/D/F
F-105B/ D/F/G
O2-A
A-37

Military Education

  • 1954 Primary/Basic Training Flying School
  • 1954 Combat Crew Training School
  • 1954 AT-33 Gunnery Training, Greenville AFB, MS
  • 1954 F-84E Gunnery Training, Laughlin AFB, TX
  • 1958 Tactical Fighter Weapons Course
  • 1961 Squadron Officers School
  • 1961 Survival Training School
  • 1962 SEA Survival School
  • 1968 Command and Staff College (correspondence)

Civilian Education

  • 1952 University of Oklahoma
Biography

Biography

Harrison Matthews was born in Oklahoma City, OK to Torrence and Dorothy Matthews. After attending Classen High School in Oklahoma City and the University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, he enlisted in the US Air Force in 1952. He attended Flight Training at Lackland, Graham and Greenville and in March of 1954 received his wings and commission as a Second Lieutenant. He was awarded as a Distinguished Graduate.
Matthew’s first operational assignment was with the 723rd Fighter Day Squadron at Foster AFB in Texas flying the F-86F and later the F-100C. It was there that he married Joyce Mary Bush in 1955 and was promoted to 1st Lieutenant.  They would have 3 sons together.
After TDY’s in Morocco and Japan, Captain Harrison flew his first mission into Vietnam in March of 1965. It was during this conflict that he won his first Distinguished Flying Cross as Commander on the attack against Diem Bien Phu.
In 1967 he was promoted to Major while serving as an Instructor Pilot at McConnell AFB, in Kansas. In 1968 Major Matthews became part of the “Wild Weasels” sitting “alert” at Osan Air Base in Korea. He became Commander of the Squadron that same year while stationed at Korat Air Base in Thailand, and flew the F105F.
October of 1968 found Matthews back in the US at Bergstrom Air Force Base in Texas where he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. In November of 1972 Lt. Colonel Matthews was back in Thailand as the Commander of the 17th Wild Weasel Squadron. In 1975 he was promoted to Colonel while serving as Director Plans & Evaluation, Tactical Air Warfare Center (TAWC), Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Matthews also served with the 831st Air Division as Special Assistant for ANG Affairs and Inspector General (George AFB, CA) from 1979-1982.
Colonel Harrison Matthews retired from the US Air Force in December of 1982.
He then began to work in the construction industry and joined the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks. Harry and Joyce bought a home in Hill Country near Mountain Home, TX and formed the H & H Repair Corporation (where he was CEO, CFO, etc of the Sales & Service of Outdoor Power Equipment). He became the Exalted Ruler of the Kerrville Elks Lodge # 2081 and joined The Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW). Eventually, the Matthew’s sold the business and moved to Fredericksburg, TX.  Joyce Matthews passed away August 13, 2001, from cancer after 46 and a half years of our marriage.
In 2008 Harrison married Anne Mary Smith. Harrison Matthews served as Seven-time Commander of the Hill Country Chapter of MOWW; Commander, Department of Texas MOWW; Commander, Region VIII MOWW and was elected General Staff Officer for the National Headquarters of MOWW.  He also formed and was President of the Super Senior Golf Association, is a Wild Weasel Society Member; Life Member of Order of Daedaliens; Life Member of Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association (River Rats); Life member F-86 Sabre Pilots Association; Charter Member of Super Sabre Society,  and, of course, member of Aviation Cadet Class 54-E “Awesome Aviators

Units - Education - Awards - Flight Info

Units Assigned

  • 12/31/1952 Enlisted in the USAir Force as Aviation Cadet
  • 1/1953-3/1953 Pre-flight training, Lackland AFB, San Antonio, TX
  • 3/1953-9/1953 Primary Flight Training, Graham AB, FL (PA-18, T-6)
  • 9/1953-3/1954 Basic Flight Training, Greenville AFB, MS, (T-28, T-33)
  • 3/1954-7/1954 Gunnery school at Laughlin AFB, TX (AT-33)/ Luke AFB, AZ (F-84E)
  • 7/1954-7/1956 723rd Fighter-Day Squadron, Foster AFB, TX (F-86F, F-100C)
  • 7/1956-1/1958 45th Fighter-Day Squadron, Fighter Pilot/Instructor Pilot, Sidi Slimane AB, Morocco, Africa (F-100 C/D)
  • 2/1958-7/1961 3597th /4523rd Combat Crew Training Squadron, Nellis AFB, NV (F-100 A/C/D/ F)
  • 7/1961-7/1965 12th Tactical Fighter Squadron/18th Tactical Fighter Wing, Kadena AB, Okinawa (F-100D/F, F-105D)
  • 8/1965-10/1967 560th Tactical Fighter Squadron, McConnell AFB, KS.  (F-105 B/D/ F)
  • 10/1967-1/1968: 4537th Fighter Weapons Squadron (Wild Weasel school), Nellis AFB, NV.  (F-105F)
  • 1/1968-3/1968: 4537th Fighter Weapons Squadron/18th Tactical Fighter Wing, Wild Weasel alert, Osan AB, South Korea (F-105F)
  • 3/1968-10/1968 44th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Wild Weasel Flight Commander, Korat Royal Thai AFB, Thailand (F-105F)
  • 10/1968-10/1972 12th Air Force, Stan Eval Flight Examiner, Chief Fighter Division/Ass’t Director Stan Eval, Bergstrom AFB, TX (F-105 D/F, O-2A)
  • 10/1972-11/1973 17th Wild Weasel Squadron, Squadron Commander, Korat RTAFB, Thailand (F-105G)
  • 11/1973-7/1975 Director Plans & Evaluation, Tactical Air Warfare Center (TAWC), Eglin AFB, FL
  • 7/1975-8/1979 113th Tactical Fighter Wing (ANG), Senior Air Force Advisor, Andrews AFB, MD (F-105 D/F, A-37)
  • 8/1979-12/1982 831st Air Division, Special Assistant for ANG Affairs and Inspector General, George AFB, CA (F-105G)
  • December 31, 1982, Retired USAF

Awards & Decorations

 Distinguished Flying Cross (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters)
 Meritorious Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster)
 Air Medal (with 11 Oak Leaf Clusters)

Flight Info

PA-18
T-6
T-28
T-33
F-84E
F-86F
F-100 A/C/D/F
F-105B/ D/F/G
O2-A
A-37

Military Education

  • 1954 Primary/Basic Training Flying School
  • 1954 Combat Crew Training School
  • 1954 AT-33 Gunnery Training, Greenville AFB, MS
  • 1954 F-84E Gunnery Training, Laughlin AFB, TX
  • 1958 Tactical Fighter Weapons Course
  • 1961 Squadron Officers School
  • 1961 Survival Training School
  • 1962 SEA Survival School
  • 1968 Command and Staff College (correspondence)

Civilian Education

  • 1952 University of Oklahoma
Photos
Scroll to Top