Vietnam War hero honored by military flyover at memorial service - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Vietnam War hero honored by military flyover at memorial service in Mullins

Colonel Norman P Huggins, USAF (Ret) (Source: Cox Collins Funeral Home) Colonel Norman P Huggins, USAF (Ret) (Source: Cox Collins Funeral Home)
An F-16 Fighting Falon jet. (Source: SCANG) An F-16 Fighting Falon jet. (Source: SCANG)

MULLINS, SC (WMBF) – On October 31, 1965, his wedding anniversary, then-Captain Norman P. Huggins, from Mullins, was one of the first ten fighter pilots shot down over North Vietnam, and the first to make it back without being captured. He was rescued after a three-hour engagement with the Viet Cong in the waters offshore.

Col. Huggins passed away on February 11, 2018 in Valdosta, Georgia at the age of 88. On Saturday, two F-16 fighter jets from the South Carolina Air National Guard provided military flyover honors for this Vietnam War hero as he was laid to rest at the Red Hill Cemetery in Mullins.

Col. Huggins was part of what is known as a “VooDoo 101 er Tactical Reconnaissance Pilot,” and flew the RF-101C for low-level tactical reconnaissance, according to a release from SCANG. The tag line for these VooDoo 101 er's has become "Alone, Unarmed and Unafraid." He was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart for his successful rescue in North Vietnam.

Following his retirement, Huggins was instrumental in saving the Moody Air Force base in Valdosta from the downsizing of military bases during the 1990s, according to his obituary from Cox Collins Funeral Home in Mullins. He was also a passionate outdoorsman and conservationist who was involved in helping the Nature Conservancy efforts to protect unspoiled land tracts along the Little Pee Dee River in Marion County.

Funeral services were held for Col. Huggins at the Macedonia United Methodist Church. After that, a graveside service was held at the Red Hill Cemetery in Mullins.

U.S. Air Force Capt. “Mosey” Rosecrans and Capt. “Gnarly” Price performed the aerial salute over Red Hill Cemetery with the two F-16 Fighting Falcon jets on behalf of the nation for the sacrifices made by the service of Huggins and his family, the SCANG release states.

“Col. Huggins was an American hero who served our country well,” Capt. Price said. “He represents a long lineage of great American fighter pilots whose legacy we seek to uphold. It is a privilege to honor his life, service, and family with a flyover today.”

Huggins is survived by his wife of 65 years, son, daughter, three grandsons, brother, and daughter-in-law, his obituary states.

In lieu of flowers, the family instead asks for donations to The Nature Conservancy in the name of Norman P. Huggins. Condolences to the family may be conveyed online at Carson McLane of Valdosta and Cox Collins of Mullins.

Huggins' son Bruce and his wife Jill provided video from the service, including the military flyover, as well as a 1965 interview with Huggins from NBC's The Huntley Brinkley report, and a document that includes clippings on Huggins' conservation efforts and military service. View that document below:

Copyright 2018 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • UPDATE: Police investigating murder in Conway home

    UPDATE: Police investigating murder in Conway home

    Saturday, August 18 2018 8:16 PM EDT2018-08-19 00:16:50 GMT
    Source: Ian Klein/WMBF NewsSource: Ian Klein/WMBF News

    CONWAY, SC (WMBF) — Horry County Police are investigating Saturday after two individuals were found dead in a Conway home.  According to Capt. John Harrelson with the HCPD the bodies were found in a home on the 4000 block of Highway 19 in Conway. Details are extremely limited at this time. WMBF will continue to provide more information as it comes available. Copyright 2018 WMBF News. All rights reserved. 

    More >>

    CONWAY, SC (WMBF) — Horry County Police are investigating Saturday after two individuals were found dead in a Conway home.  According to Capt. John Harrelson with the HCPD the bodies were found in a home on the 4000 block of Highway 19 in Conway. Details are extremely limited at this time. WMBF will continue to provide more information as it comes available. Copyright 2018 WMBF News. All rights reserved. 

    More >>
  • UPDATE: Police investigating body found Saturday morning in Socastee

    UPDATE: Police investigating body found Saturday morning in Socastee

    Saturday, August 18 2018 6:24 PM EDT2018-08-18 22:24:45 GMT
    Source: Ian Klein/WMBFSource: Ian Klein/WMBF

    HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) — Horry County Police are investigating Saturday after a body was found off Peachtree Road in Socastee. According to Capt. John Harrelson with the Horry County Police Department, investigators are still working to determine the exact cause of death.  WMBF will continue to follow this developing story and will pass along more information as it becomes available. Copyright 2018 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

    More >>

    HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) — Horry County Police are investigating Saturday after a body was found off Peachtree Road in Socastee. According to Capt. John Harrelson with the Horry County Police Department, investigators are still working to determine the exact cause of death.  WMBF will continue to follow this developing story and will pass along more information as it becomes available. Copyright 2018 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

    More >>
  • Mother arrested after child allegedly tests positive for heroin

    Mother arrested after child allegedly tests positive for heroin

    Saturday, August 18 2018 3:46 PM EDT2018-08-18 19:46:14 GMT
    Source: J Reuben Long Detention CenterSource: J Reuben Long Detention Center

    HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) — Reports released Friday provide additional details surrounding the circumstances leading to one Murrells Inlet mother's arrest.  Brooke Stellers, 23, was arrested on Thursday, August 16 and charged with unlawful neglect of a child. According to the police report, a Department of Social Services employee informed Horry County Police that a 2-year-old child tested positive for heroine/crack. Social services then took custody of the ch...

    More >>

    HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) — Reports released Friday provide additional details surrounding the circumstances leading to one Murrells Inlet mother's arrest.  Brooke Stellers, 23, was arrested on Thursday, August 16 and charged with unlawful neglect of a child. According to the police report, a Department of Social Services employee informed Horry County Police that a 2-year-old child tested positive for heroine/crack. Social services then took custody of the ch...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly