Obituary for BIGGS

Published in the Albuquerque Journal on Saturday November 14, 2009

Colonel George Joseph Biggs, USAF (Ret.), passed away on Veterans Day, November 11, 2009. Colonel Biggs, who was known to everyone as "Joe", was born in Brooklyn, New York on August 8, 1918 to Augusta and George Biggs. He was 91 years old. Colonel Biggs was a 1937 graduate of Jamaica High School in Queens, New York. He was commissioned in the Army Reserves in 1941 and called to active duty in 1942. He completed pilot training at Williams AFB, Arizona; Mather Field, California; Columbia Army Airfield, South Carolina; and Hunter Field, Georgia, and went on to fly 82 missions in B-25 bombers in the China-Burma-India Theater during World War II. His missions were both low level, including strafing, and high level with targets consisting of supply depots, bridges, and railroad yards in Burma. Following the War, Joe served as a Budget and Fiscal Officer in Assignments with the USAF Watson Laboratories at Red Bank, New Jersey, and the Directorate of Intelligence at USAF Headquarters, The Pentagon, until 1953. His next 14 years were with the Strategic Air Command (SAC) at Lincoln AFB, Nebraska, and Moron and Torrejon Air Bases in Spain. Among his many duties were serving as a B-47 medium bomber Aircraft Commander, Squadron Commander, and Vice Wing Commander. He also piloted KC-135 jet tankers while stationed in Spain. Joe left SAC in 1967 to become Chief of Aircraft Maintenance for the Air Force Eastern Test Range at Patrick AFB, Florida. On July 29, 1968, he received his final assignment at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, where he served as Commander of the 4905th Maintenance and Supply Group. Upon his retirement from the Air Force in 1972, he received the Legion of Merit, a high-ranking decoration, for exceptionally outstanding service to the United States. During his 30-year service career, Joe earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Air Medals, and three Air Force Commendation Medals among other military decorations. At retirement, he held the dual aeronautical ratings of Command Pilot and Navigator. While in the Air Force, Joe earned a BS degree in Military Science from the University of Maryland. In retirement, he earned an MBA from the University of New Mexico. Joe resided in Albuquerque since 1968. He was a longtime member of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, serving several terms as President of the Parish Council and the Holy Name Society. In recent years he lived in the Montebello retirement community and served as President of the Resident's Council until his death. Joe was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Irene Crawford; a son, Michael Crawford Biggs; his mother, Augusta; his father, George; and sisters Lillian, Viola and Eleanor. He is survived by his sons George Joseph Biggs and wife Prompon and step-daughter Supphanida of Albuquerque; James Michael Biggs and wife Diane of Albuquerque and their children Jennifer Keltos and husband Michael of Springboro, Ohio, Jill Spears and husband James of Ocoee, Florida, and Joseph Biggs of Chicago, Illinois; and daughter Patricia Anne Morrisette and husband Robert of Huntington Beach, California, and their children Andrea of New York City, Hayley of Los Angeles, California, and Corey of Huntington Beach. Joe had five great-grandchildren, Kaitlin and Benjamin Keltos; and Hayden, Connor, and Adeline Spears. Joe was, put simply, a good and generous man, highly respected and admired by family and friends alike. He will be very much missed by all. Friends may visit Monday, November 16, 2009, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at French, 10500 Lomas Blvd. NE. Rosary will follow at 7:00 p.m. Mass will be celebrated Tuesday, November 17, 2009, at 11:00 a.m., at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, 1818 Coal Pl. SE. Interment will take place at Santa Fe National Cemetery at 1:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Wounded Warrior Project, 7020 AC Skinner Parkway, Suite100, Jacksonville, Florida 32256. Please visit our online guestbook for Colonel Biggs at www.RememberTheirStory.com French 10500 Lomas Blvd. NE (505) 275-3500