Colonel Foster N. Dickson, USAF Ret., passed away Aug. 10, 2023, at Augusta University Medical Center, Augusta, Georgia. He was a resident of Aiken, South Carolina.
Colonel Dickson was born in Winter Garden, FL, and graduated from Austin High School, Austin, Texas. He attended the University of Florida until he entered the United States Air Force Aviation Cadet Program in March of 1954. He subsequently received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aviation Technology from Louisiana Tech University.
Colonel Dickson is a graduate of Squadron Officer School, the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and Armed Forces Staff College.
Immediately following his graduation from Armed Forces Staff College, Colonel Dickson served his country as a Forward Air Controller and Air Liaison Officer with the 20th Tactical Air Support Squadron in the Republic of South Vietnam. He accumulated 350 combat hours in the OV-10 aircraft. During this Southeast Asia tour he also served as Chief, Current Operations, 504th Tactical Air Support Group.
Upon his departure from South Vietnam, Colonel Dickson was assigned to Headquarters Second Air Force, Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, where he had duties as Command Post Officer Controller, Deputy Chief of Programs Division, Chief of the Forces Status Division and Chief of the Command Control Division. From there he proceeded to the 920th Air Refueling Squadron, Wurtsmith AFB, Michigan, where he served as the Squadron Commander for two years.
From March 1978 until June 1980, Colonel Dickson served as the Chief of the Command-and-Control Branch, Survivability Section, at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. From June 1980 until March 1983, he served as Commander, 340th Air Refueling Group, Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma.
A Command Pilot with over 6,800 flying hours, including 500 combat hours, Colonel Dickson flew the T-6, T-28, T-33, T-37, C-45, C-118 and KC-135. He also flew the B-25, AT-33, H-19 and OV-10 aircraft.
He is the recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Medal and the Air Force Meritorious Medal.
Upon his retirement from the Air Force, he joined Nortel Networks as a Program Director of Federal Programs. He retired in 1997 as President of Federal Programs.
He was predeceased by his father Raymond George Dickson, mother Martha Ruth Hall, and his brother Charles.
Colonel Dickson was married to the former Tommie Shirley Davis of Winter Garden, Floroida. in 1954. They have one daughter, Teresa McCracken (Thomas) Dallas, Texas; and two sons, Joseph, Winter Garden, Florida, Richmond (Krys), Aiken, South Carolina; five grandchildren; and one great-grandson.
The couple were married for 69 years.
Interment will take at 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, 2023, at Fort Jackson National Cemetery, Columbia, SC, 4170 Percival Road, Columbia, SC 29229.
Memorials may be made to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN, 38105; or stjude.org.
The Historic George Funeral Home & Cremation Center, 211 Park Ave SW, Aiken, SC 29801; (803) 649-6234, has charge of arrangements.
Online expressions of sympathy for the family may be left by visiting georgefuneralhomes.com.