Melvin Dale Swope was born July 18, 1937 in Liberty, Pennsylvania, to Sebert Eldon Swope and Ellen Catherine (Wiemert) Swope. He passed away January 19, 2022.
He served in the U.S. Air Force for 27 years. He is survived by his wife Joan Carol (Koehne) Swope to whom he was married 65 years.
Melvin is also survived by three daughters Debra K., Brenda (Thompson) Swope, and Cheryl M.; two sons Bryan Swope and Myron Swope; seven grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; one brother Joe Swope; and four sisters Charlotte Swope, Marilyn Fenton, Wanda Swope (deceased), and Theresa Cratsley.
Melvin received a member of certificate and accommodation in the Air Force where he retired as Senior Chief Major Sergeant. He loved swimming and working on things.
Melvin was a loving father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was active in his church, loved working outside in his garden, and loved working on his place. He built two houses along side his wife in Marian, Texas and Gilham, Arkansas
He lived in Cove, Arkansas for 20 years along side his family in which he helped them in their daily lives. He was always there when he was needed and will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
Melvin was with the 62nd fighter Interceptor squadron in the 56th fighter group (AD)(ADC) K.I. Sawyer Air Force base Michigan voasts a 12,300-foot runway capable of accommodating the huge 8 jet B52 Bombers, The KC135 Jet Tankers and F101 B Fighter Interceptor Air Craft based there.
Airman Swope, a Personal Equipment Specialist, took his place alongside other specialists in USAF Air Defense Command’s newest link in the chain of installations guarding America’s northern frontier. Airman Swope joined the United States Air Force October 31, 1954 and later served at Wright Patterson AFB.
Sergeant Melvin D. Swope was assigned to the U.S. Air Force “Hurricane Hunters” at Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico. Sergeant Swope was a flight equipment technician who supported the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron’s WC-130 Hercules aircraft. The 53rd flew 68 storm missions and provided vital warning after entering the hazardous weather to see the “eye” of each storm.
He also served in Vietnam for a year transporting equipment back and forth between the different … to which he saw the aftermath of combat.
With 500 personnel and 13 aircrafts, the unit was poised in the middle of the tropical storm breeding grounds. Being stations in Puerto Rico enabled the squadron to search out developing storms more than 200 miles away.
While hurricane reconnaissance was the most colorful portion of the squadron’s mission, it also supported aerial refueling, Air Force Missile Test Center shots and atmospheric sampling missions for the Atomic Energy Commissions and other governmental agencies.
Arrangements have been entrusted to A Natural State Funeral Service. 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas 72076. 501-982-3400.
On behalf of the Aircrew Life Support airmen and NCOs that served with MSgt Mel Swope at Randolph AFB, we extend our deepest sympathies. As our Superintendent, he was a first class leader and a decent and humble man. He impacted all of our lives in a meaningful way. May God bring comfort to each of you in the days ahead.