Robert Joseph Michael “Andy” Andrews, Lt. Col. USAF (Ret) of Colorado Springs, Colorado died Saturday, 3 August 2013 in Huntsville, Alabama at age 87, to where he had moved only one week prior. Col. Andrews was born 25 November 1925 in Royal Oak, Michigan to Agnes Cecelia Andrews, née Schneider, and Roger Raynor Joseph Andrews. He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Brian and Lisa Andrews, of Huntsville, Alabama.
Robert entered the Army Air Force in 1943 as an Aviation Cadet. At the age of 19 he graduated from the Army Air Force pilot training program, received his silver pilot wings and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant during ceremonies at Moore Field, Mission, Texas in October 1945.
He was assigned to fighter squadrons most of his early flying career and later to staff positions in operations and plans at NORAD, Air Defense Command, 30th and 41st Air Divisions, and the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing. He had four overseas tours: Okinawa, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. He maintained his flying expertise by flying 14 different types of military aircraft during his 30 years of continuous active duty. He trained in the PT-17 Stearman and AT-6 Texan. Operational flying included assignments flying the P-47 Thunderbolt, P-51 Mustang, F6F Hellcat, P-80 and T-33 Shooting Star, F-86 Sabre, F-89 Scorpion, and the F-4 Phantom II. At times, he also performed duties as aircraft commander in B-25, C-47, C-45, and L-20 aircraft.
Col. Andrews flew fighters during two combat tours: during the Korean War he flew 61 combat missions from 1950-1951 in the F-86 Sabre with the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing, and during the Vietnam War he flew 101 combat missions from 1968-1969 in the F-4 Phantom with the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing. Among Andrews’ 30 awards and decorations are three Distinguished Flying Crosses, eight Air Medals, the Bronze Star, a Joint Services Commendation Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals, and four Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards.
After serving our nation for over 30 years, Lieutenant Colonel Andrews retired from the United States Air Force in September 1974. For the next 18 years he practiced as a licensed realtor in Colorado Springs. In voluntary service, he drove passenger vans for the Disabled American Veterans and the Colorado Springs Silver Key organization. He was a member of the Air Force Association, Daedalians, Military Officers Association of America, the 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing Association, 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing Association, the F-86 Sabre Pilots Association, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing Association, All 3 Wars Veterans Associations, and the Pilot Classes of WW II Association.
A memorial service in Colorado Springs will be held on Saturday, 19 October 2013 at 2 o’clock at the Shrine of Remembrance, located at 1730 East Fountain Boulevard. There will be a reception immediately following the service at the home of Randy and Clasina Biles. Burial with full military honors will be a later date at the Black Hills National Cemetery, Sturgis, SD.
Memorial contributions may be made on behalf of “Andy” to The Humane Society Of The Pikes Peak Region, 610 Abbott Lane, Colorado Springs, CO 80905. Andy’s animals will appreciate your contributions.