George Robert Booth

Published 7:36 pm Wednesday, July 11, 2018

George Robert Booth, a career officer with the USAF, slipped the surly bonds of earth on June 23, 2018, in Jackson, after a lengthy illness. He was 70.

He was born Jan. 1, 1948, in Vicksburg, to William Edward Booth and Elizabeth Polk Booth.

He was a 1966 graduate of St. Aloysius High School in Vicksburg. He received a B.S. degree from the University of Mississippi in 1970. Following his graduation from Ole Miss, he was commissioned as an officer in the United States Air Force. He served his country for 22 years, eventually earning the rank of Colonel. Early in his career, Col. Booth was selected to attend the USAF pilot training program in Enid, Oklahoma, where he graduated first in his flight school class. He then served as a fighter pilot during the Vietnam War, flying with the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing based in Ubon, Thailand. He flew the F-4 and F-15. During his years of service, Col. Booth also served at Air Force bases in Bitburg, Germany; Soesterberg, Netherlands and Nellis AFB, Nevada. He spent one year in Toronto, Canada at the Air Command and Staff College, an institution designed to provide high quality professional military education for selected Canadian and international officers. He then provided services to the Canadian government for two years at the Canadian Forces Base Rockcliffe headquarters in Ottawa, Canada. Col. Booth subsequently returned to the United States with an assignment to Langley AFB in Virginia, where he served as Commander of the 48th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. He later trained at the Air War College in Montgomery, Alabama, the senior professional military education school of the USAF. His final duty station was in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he was a senior officer at NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command). Following his retirement from the USAF, he was a flight instructor for Boeing at Eglin AFB in Florida.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

During his Air Force service, Col. Booth was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Overseas Short Tour Ribbon, the Overseas Long Tour Ribbon and the Air Force Longevity Ribbon.

Col. Booth was preceded in death by his parents, his daughter, Lorie Marie Booth, two brothers, Joseph Malcolm Booth and John Christopher Booth (infant death) and one sister, Alice Elizabeth Booth. He is survived by his former wife of 34 years, Shirley Hickey Booth, three sons, George Robert Booth Jr. (Julie), Edward Michael Booth (Veronica) and Andrew Thomas Booth, his five grandchildren, Brooks, Ansley, Parker, Alessandra, and Gabriella; his five brothers, William Edward Booth, Paul Hyland Booth, James Michael Booth, Jerome Polk Booth, John Gerard Booth and two sisters, Mary Patricia Booth Fulton and Margaret Booth Rector.

The family will have a private memorial service. Col. Booth will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.