Fallen Hero: SMSgt Julian B. “Sonny” Williamson (Ret)

Meridian; Allen, TX

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Military Service Tribute, Honors, and Obituary

Recognizing and Honoring a Fallen Hero, Who Served Within the Mississippi National Guard. “Fallen, Yet Not Forgotten”

In recognition of our proud American tradition of honorable service which our military men and women have given to their country and our State, we honor a Fallen Hero. Our nation, our state, and the National Guard Association of MS (NGAMS) regard the memorializing of its retired military deceased as an honorable and sacred obligation.

Another great Airman and Fallen Hero has been released from duty, passed from our ranks on January 9, 2024, and has moved on to his heavenly home. SMSgt Julian B. “Sonny” Williamson (Ret), age 83, who served in the MSANG within the 172d Airlift Wing has departed and gone to a better place with our good Lord.

It takes a special person to serve within the military for their country, giving up their family time, comfort, and safety for their country, ultimately for all Americans to enjoy their freedoms, safety, and way of life. We now applaud you for your service to our country.  A special message from General Douglas McArthur remains applicable today for our servicemen that have passed: “Old Soldiers never die; they just fade away”.

Rest in Peace Airman.  We applaud your patriotism, sacrifices, and brave efforts in serving our country and your family for their support of your service. We thank you for your service. Without your efforts and your families’ support, our country would not stand so boldly, shine so bright and live so free.

You now have earned a rest, so go fly with the Angels, go rest high on that mountain; your work on earth is done. Go to heaven a-shoutin’ Love for the Father and the Son.

Another great Airman has gone home, “Fallen, Yet Not Forgotten, Airman Forever”.

Obituary, Visitation, and Service Details

Julian “Sonny” Williamson passed away on Tuesday, January 9, 2024 in Allen, TX.

Sonny was born in Jackson, MS March 6, 1930 to Odell Lamar and Lina Ward Williamson. By June of 1935, living in Meridian, MS, his lifelong love of airplanes grew from daily anticipation of the sound of Al and Fred Key’s airplane in the skies setting an aviation endurance record.

Beyond earning Eagle Scout status, he earned the rather exclusive award of Ace in the Air Scouting program while working for the Key Brothers Flying Service as a “line boy”. Too young to enlist for World War II, he joined the 153rd Fighter Squadron of the Mississippi Air National Guard before graduating from Meridian High School.

Under the guidance of the men of the 153rd, Sonny’s natural mechanical skills would grow until he attended the A&E School at Sheppard AFB where he graduated at the top of a class of 500 men. A co-worker remarked that he was one of the most precise, meticulous workers he had ever encountered.  His Air Force active duty service included the Korean War, Berlin Crisis and Vietnam. After 40 years of service with the Mississippi Air National Guard he retired in 1989 from the 172nd Military Airlift Wing.

Sonny’s knowledge and appreciation for the propeller-driven airplanes of WWII led him to a Life membership in the Confederate (Commemorative) Air Force where he was instrumental in forming the Mississippi Wing. He found great pleasure through countless hours working at airshows or rebuilding and repairing historic airplanes. Later, he would become a Life Member of the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston, TX where he and his wife, Betty Ann, devoted over 5,000 volunteer hours each.

Sonny is survived by his wife of over 72 years, Betty Collier Williamson, daughter Julie Campbell (William), sister Patricia Stewart and a number of nieces and nephews. In addition, long-time neighbor and very special friend Jimmy Otts was like a part of the family.Sonny was preceded in death by his parents and a sister Sylvia Pogue.

The family is grateful for the compassionate care offered to Sonny and the family by the staff of Reliant at Home Hospice Services of Plano, TX.

In Sonny’s memory, please consider a donation to the charity of your choice.