Major General Harry Evans

Published 3:39 pm Thursday, July 24, 2008

He was born in Bedford, Iowa, on Nov. 22, 1919, the son of the late Harry Evans and Clara Fowler Evans. He graduated from Northeast Oklahoma Junior College, Miami, Oklahoma, in 1938. General Evans entered military service in 1940 and was commissioned a second lieutenant and completed his pilot training at Kelly Field, Texas, in November, 1940.

From November, 1940 to January, 1943, General Evans served at Randolph Field, Texas, first as a flight instructor, then as a squadron commander. In January, 1943, he was transferred to the 449th Base Headquarters and Air Base Squadron, Independence Army Air Field, Kan., serving as a flight commander and then as squadron commander. In March, 1945, he served as deputy group commander of the 29th Bomb Group on Guam and flew 18 B-29 combat missions.

In September, 1946, he entered the University of Oklahoma, earning his bachelor of science degree in 1948. He was assigned as squadron commander of a strategic reconnaissance squadron based in Japan and later Travis Air Force Base, Calif. &bsp;

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

In 1950, General Evans was selected to attend a two-year guided missile course at the University of Michigan, for which he received his master of science degree. After completion of this course, he served a four-year tour with Field Command, Armed Forces Special Weapons Project, Sandia Base, N.M. Then in July,

1956, he attended the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.

After graduation from the Air War College in June, 1957, General Evans was assigned as program director of the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System. He was next placed in charge of the Air Force fledgling space activities and was responsible for early Air Force Satellite Systems and for the Air Force portion of the early Pioneer and Explorer space launches, directing more than 50 space and satellite launches and on-orbit operations.

In August, 1965, he was named as vice director, Manned Orbiting Laboratory Program. He became the assistant to the commander of Air Force Systems Command in March, 1967.

Among the General&squo;s decorations were the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart and the Air Medal with oak leaf cluster.

In June, 1967, he retired from the service and was employed as an aerospace executive in the guided missile systems division of Raytheon Corporation.

In 1973, he and his wife, Dixie, retired to Tryon, where he avidly pursued his interests in wine making, tennis and golf, as well as community service with Polk County Community Foundation and other local charities.

General Evans was predeceased by his wife of 64 years, Dixie Evans, and is survived by his four great nieces and nephews, Kirsten, Daren, Julia, and Justin Stennes.

A memorial service will be held in the auditorium at Tryon Estates, Columbus, at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, July 23, 2008, with the Reverend Ralph Kuether officiating.

Memorials may be made to Hospice of the Carolina Foothills, 130 Forest Glen Drive, Columbus, NC 28722.

An online guest register can be signed at

McFarland Funeral Chapel of Tryon is in charge of arrangements.

‐ paid obituary