Major Thomas Harry Fickle (USA retired) departed this life to be with the Lord on Oct. 10, 2023. He was born in Palisade, Colorado in 1934 to James and Myra Fickle and grew up in Northwestern Colorado, Steamboat Springs, Hayden and Meeker. He graduated from Rio Blanco County High School in 1952.
Tom enlisted in the United States Army in 1953 and after Basic Infantry Training in California, he was assigned to Europe and served in Italy, Austria, and Germany. Returning to the states in 1956, he was assigned to Ft. Leonard Wood, MO with the duties of drill instructor, after completing NCO Academy as an instructor and promoted to Sgt. 1st Class. In 1958, his application for Helicopter Flight Training was accepted and he reported to Camp Wolters, TX to begin his career as a pilot, a dream since early childhood. His Advanced Flight Training was completed at Ft. Rucker, AL with class 59-3 where he graduated in July 1959 and pinned on Army Aviator Wings and Warrant Officer Bars. His first assignment as an Aviator was at Ft. Benning, GA in 1960 where he met and married Nina Jean Williamson. He was an Honor Graduate of the Infantry Officer Candidate School and was commissioned a 2nd Lt. in Feb. of 1963 with orders to Korea. In 1964, he was assigned to Ft. Wolters, Texas. He served as a Tactical Officer and Instructor Pilot and was promoted to Captain. In 1967, he was assigned to Vietnam where he served in the 25th Infantry Division flying Huey slicks and gunships. After Vietnam he attended the Army Aircraft Maintenance Officers Course at Ft. Eustis, VA and was assigned to Ft. Benning, GA, as Commanding Officer of the 399th Aircraft Maintenance Detachment, supporting CH-47 Chinook Helicopters. In 1970, he attended the Army Aviation Safety Officers Course at the University of Southern California and returned to Ft. Benning where he was promoted to Major and assigned as Safety Officer of Lawson Army Airfield. That same year, he received orders for a 2nd tour in Vietnam with Fixed Wing Training before departure. The training was at Ft. Stewart, GA and Ft. Rucker, AL where he flew the 0-1 Bird Dog and T-42 Twin Engine Beechcraft. In Vietnam he was assigned as Company Commander of the 539th General Support Maintenance Company, part of the 34th Aircraft Maintenance Company Group. In June 1971, the 539th Maintenance Company was deactivated, and Tom assumed the duties of Executive Officer of the 520th Aircraft Maintenance Battalion at Phu Loi Vietnam, Upon returning to the states in 1972, he was assigned to the US Army Aviation Safety Agency at Ft. Rucker, AL as an Accident Investigator. He later attended the National Transportation Safety Board Accident Investigators Course in Washington, DC. His awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Army of Occupation, National Defense Service Medal, and Vietnam Campaign Medal. He retired from the Army in May 1973 after 20 years of service.
After retiring from the Army, he graduated from UCCS with a business degree. Then he graduated from Colorado Aero Tech in Broomfield, CO, and went to work for the USAF Academy as a supervisor for 19 years. He retired in 1999.
Tom was a Christian and accepted the Lord when he was age 16. Later in life he was baptized and rededicated his life to Christ. He is survived by his loving wife, Nina Jean; his sons, Thomas (Michele) of CA, and James of CO; grandsons, Taylor and Rio of CA; and granddaughter, Kristi (Derek) of CO; and great-grandson, Bradlee Thomas of CO; as well as nieces and nephews.
The Services will be held Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023, at Shrine of Remembrance “America the Beautiful” Chapel, 1730 E. Fountain Blvd., Colorado Springs, CO 80910. Viewing 12:00-12:30PM, Funeral Service immediately following. A burial will be held with full Military Honors at 2:00PM, Pikes Peak National Cemetery, 10545 Drennan Road Colorado Springs, CO 80925. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to your charity of choice.