Kenneth H. Pitcher, 95, passed away at his home in Hendersonville, NC, on January 4, 2010.
Mr. Pitcher was the son of the late Hiram S. Pitcher and Mary Louise Salmon Pitcher. He was the youngest of six children. He was also preceded in death by his wife of 69 years, Emily Willover Pitcher, who passed away in 2006.
He was a veteran of World War II, serving with the Tenth Air Force, Seventh Bomb Group, 436 Sq. in the China, Burma, and India Theatre. He was a flight engineer and top turret gunner on a B24 Bomber. During the monsoon season, he flew gas hauling missions into air bases in China over the ìHump.î After the monsoon season ended, he flew forty bombing missions. Due to the mountainous terrain in Burma and Thailand, most of these bombing missions were low-level. These included missions against the oil fields at Mandalay, Burma, and the famous steel and wooden bridges on the River Kwai at Kanchaburi, Thailand. On his return to the states, he served with air transport command until his discharge from the service. For his service he received the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre ribbon with two bronze stars, the American Theatre ribbon, the WW II Victory Medal with one overseas bar, the China Air Force Wings and citation received for his service to China for hauling gas to the air bases in China. Also, he received the Conspicuous Service Medal with two stars.
He was a member of Calvary Baptist Church of Hendersonville. He was a sixty-year member of Tyrone Masonic Lodge #463, Tyrone, NY, a past patron of Tyrone, NY OES #612, and a past District Grand Lecturer of Chemung, Schuyler, Tioga OES, State of New York. He was a charter member of the Tyrone Volunteer Fire Company of Tyrone, NY, and a former deputy sheriff of Schuyler County, NY. He was a member of the Hump Pilots Association and the Seventh Bomb Group Historical Society.
He was extremely grateful to Jeff Miller for the opportunity to be among those on the first Honor Air Flight to the WW II Memorial in Washington, DC.
He was a loving father, grandfather, and great-grandfather and a true friend to all who knew him. He will be greatly missed by all of his family and friends
He is survived by his son, Lawrence Pitcher and wife, Barbara, of Mills River; four grandchildren, Polly Walden of Rochester, NY; Brenda McLeod of Hendersonville; Kim Armstrong and husband, Joseph, of Horse Shoe; and Julia Cairnes and husband, Gregory, of Morganton; several great-grandchildren, Shelby McGee and husband, Josh, of Hendersonville; Brandi McLeod; Joey, Sarah, and Joshua Armstrong; Alexis and Grant Cairnes; Kai-lin Walden and Tanis Hinkey; one niece, Cora Morehouse of Campbell, NY; and cousins, Betty Welch of Maine, NY; Steve Heath of Bettendorf, IA; and George Heath of Monterey, NY, along with numerous cousins in Ontario, Canada..
A memorial service with Military Honors will be held at 3 PM Saturday, January 9, 2010 in the Kirby Memorial Chapel of Shuler Funeral Home. Interment will be at a later date at the Union Cemetery in Tyrone, NY.
Kirby Memorial Chapel of Shuler Funeral Home - Directions
125 Orrs Camp Road
Hendersonville, NC 28792