Francis “Jack” McCombs passed away on April 22, 2019 at his home in Alachua, Fla., with his sister and companion by his side.
Jack was born Feb. 23, 1932 in McKeesport, Pa., the son of Frank and Gladys McCombs of Versailles, Pa. He graduated from McKeesport High School in 1950.
Jack graduated from Kiski Prep School second in class and received athletic awards in five sports. He was admitted to Brown University in Providence, R.I., but decided that a liberal arts degree would not assist him in future
endeavors, and so he transferred to the University of Miami where he majored in aviation and graduated in 1956.
Jack entered the United States Air Force in June 1956 and retired in June 1976. During his service career he had duties in Air Transportation, Personnel, Combat International Ballistic Missiles. He was the first deputy commander to be selected as a Commander of Combat Instructor Crew. Jack was selected during his missile duties to attend Squadron Officers School for a period of 6 months and later returned to 556 Missile Combat Squadron.
He later volunteered for Vietnam and arrived in December 1965. During his one-year tour he served as an Aerial Delivery Officer with the Air Commandos and Commander of a transportation subsidiary of 8th Aerial Port Squadron.
Jack was later assigned as Director of Transportation for Hdg 1st Air Force of Air Defense Commander. He was responsible for all transportation functions for five stateside bases and two overseas bases. During this period he dealt with officials of other countries who were US Cabinet official equivalents.
Jack was selected as an Outstanding Transportation Officer by the Department of the Air Force by USAF Chief of Staff General Ryan. In retirement, Jack was a member of the Rotary Club and in 1997 and 2002 was awarded the “Above Self” Rotary Award, a prestigious honor which recognizes individuals who gave talents and time. Individuals are unaware of the nominations and the award is a surprise announcement.
Jack will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. Jack is survived by his daughter Susan Lukkar, grandson Nick, Companion Alice Hasko, sister Donna McCombs Foster, and nieces and nephews.
Arrangements were in charge of Forest Meadows Funeral Home, Gainesville, Fla.
Originally published July 12, 2020.