William Harold Canon Jr. attended what is now Western Kentucky University for two and a half years and participated in ROTC there. He joined the Kentucky Army National Guard on 8 February 1950 while participating in ROTC.
Mr. Canon, during his full-time career with the Kentucky Army National Guard aviation community, has either maintained himself or supervised the repair and maintenance of every type of fixed wing or rotary wing aircraft ever flown by the Kentucky Army National Guard until his retirement in 1990. His expertise includes: — Rotary Wing Aircraft: OH-13 (Sioux) (Models E and G); OH-23 (Raven) (Models B and G); OH 19 for maintenance Training; OH-58 (Kiowa) (Models A and C); UH-1 (Iroquois) (Models B and D) and the UH-60 (Black Hawk) (Model A) — Fixed Wing Aircraft: L-16; L-16 Aeronca; L -19 Birddog; L-17 Navion; L-20 / U-6 Beaver DeHavilland; U-3B Cessna; U-9 Aero Commander and U-21 UTE
Mr. Canon also held an U. S. Army distance record for flying a helicopter from one point to another for a time with pilot Lieutenant Colonel John I. Faulkenberry when in October 1962 flew from Stockton, California to Frankfort, Kentucky – 2,700 miles in nine and a half days. The OH-23 was picked up at Sharp General Depot at Stockton California and returned to Frankfort. The Hiller would only hold enough fuel for a bout one hour and twenty minutes of flying. With an extra five-gallon gas can on board, the pair made the trip from airport to airport, stopping only twice at gas stations for high-test fuel along the way.
Mr. Canon’s Aviation career as a full-time Kentucky Army National Guard Technician began as an entry level fixed wing mechanic and he rose to be Shop Foreman for Kentucky’s Army Aviation Support Facility when he retired in December 1990.
In his career as a traditional Guardsman, Mr. Canon joined Service Company of the 149th Regimental Combat Team in Bowling Green on 8 February 1950 as a Senior Supply Clerk. He transferred to Headquarters and Service Battery of the 640th Field Artillery Observation Battalion Specialist 2 as a Helicopter Mechanic. He later moved to the Headquarters Battery of the 5th Observation Battalion and was a fulltime Helicopter Mechanic for the Kentucky Army National Guard at its first Army Aviation Support Center in Frankfort.
He progressed up the ranks to Master Sergeant and became a Warrant Officer on 1 November 1978. He was promoted to Chief Warrant Officer Two shortly thereafter and to Chief Warrant Officer Three in October 1984 and CW4 on July 21, 1990. Mr. Canon retired from military service on December 31, 1990 with 40 years 10 months and 23 days of service.
During his career he served with Service Company of the 149th Regimental Combat Team, Headquarters of the 243rd Tank Battalion; Head Quarters of the 640th Field Artillery Battalion; Headquarters of the 5th Target Acquisition Battery of the 138th Field Artillery; Headquarters Kentucky Army National Guard; Detachment 1, 1155th Transportation Company; 2113th Transportation Aviation Maintenance Company and Company F of the 135th Aviation.
His military education included Army Airplane Mechanics Course, Army Helicopter Mechanics Course, Flight Simulator Operations and Maintenance, Aircraft Reciprocating Engine Mechanic, Jet Engine Mechanic, Single Engine Mechanic, UH-1 Helicopter Repair Course, UH-1 AAMTAP Org, OH-58A Maintenance of Airframe and Power Plant, Aviation Accident Prevention Management, 250-C18/T63 Engine Maintenance and Flight Operations, and UH-60A Airframe and Power train Maintenance course.
His awards and decorations include: Legion of Merit, Aircraft Crewman Badge, Master Aircraft Crewman Badge, Humanitarian Service Medal, Senior Aircraft Crewman Badge, Army Service Ribbon, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon, Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Commendation Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, Kentucky Commendation Ribbon with Oak Leaf Cluster, Kentucky Distinguished Service Medal, Kentucky Service Ribbon with 4 Silver Oak Leaf Clusters, Kentucky Merit Ribbon, Kentucky State Active Duty Ribbon with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters and 30 year and 40 year Service Plaques.
Submitted by LTC (R) Willoughby S. Goin III