William Warren “Bill” Pattison, was born in Jacksonville, Florida, on Feb. 12, 1933. He resided in Alamogordo, NM for the past 48 years, after being stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in 1968. Following graduation from Willoughby Union High School (Ohio), Bill enlisted in the United States Air Force and was selected for pilot training through the Aviation Cadet Training Program. Ensuing assignments took him and his family across the country and to Europe.
In 1967, as an F-100 Super Sabre pilot, Bill was assigned to Tuy Hoa Air Base, South Viet Nam, where he completed 363 air-to-air and close air-to-ground combat missions in support of U.S, and R.V.N. troops. During these missions, he earned the United States Air Force’s Distinguished Flying Cross, the 1st through 16th Oak Leaf Clusters to the Air Medal, and the Air Force Commendation Medal.
He served in the armed forces to protect his country from foreign enemies and to keep it safe for families to live in peace and freedom. He often suffered from his experiences in Viet Nam, recalling victims that were injured and killed in napalm and strafing missions. After retiring in 1973, he returned to school to earn a degree in psychology and counseling from N.M.S.U., graduating with highest honors.
A member of Grace United Methodist Church since 1968, he used his education to conduct marriage enrichment and divorce recovery programs as well as personal counseling in those areas as the Director of Lay Activities. He also taught the adult JOY Class (Jesus first, others next, and yourself last) for 34 years.
Bill was also a leader and participant in the Emmaus Walk, a weekend of spiritual awakening or renewal promoted by the Upper Room Ministries of the United Methodist Church. Many people’s lives were changed by the “walks” and many lasting friendships were made.