Brig. General Harry Nation Cordes USAF (Ret.)
Born: August 09, 1922
Died: May 10, 2004
Services: Family and friends are invited to attend his memorial service at 3PM on Wednesday, May 12th in the chapel of McAlister-Smith Funeral Home, 1520 Rifle Range Road, Mt. Pleasant.
Brig. General Harry Nation Cordes USAF(ret.)
Harry Cordes, 81, of the Isle of Palms, SC a decorated military hero, was pronounced dead, Monday morning, May 10th at a local hospital.
Harry was born and raised in West Point, Georgia and spent summers on Sullivan's Island with local Charleston relatives. He graduated from Emory University in Atlanta and received an MBA from the George Washington University in Washington, DC. Shortly after the outbreak of WWII, duty called and Harry enlisted in the Army Air Force, graduating first in his class at navigation school. There, his love for flying developed and he was accepted for flight training as a pilot.
Spanning four decades, his career involved him in many of the history making events during the 1942-1974 period. He flew over 25 types of different planes including B17s, B47s, B52s, and ultimately U2s. He flew combat and reconnaissance missions in Europe, the Pacific, and Vietnam. Gary Powers, who gained international attention during the height of the Cold War, served under the General. Harry saw action in the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the A-bomb test at Bikini Atoll. In 1947 he was stationed at the Roswell, New Mexico AFB during the time of the alleged crash of the alien beings. It was also at this time that he met Rogene Corn whose father's cattle and sheep ranch was adjacent to the crash site.
As a general intelligence officer working with the Pentagon and Strategic Air Command he served at the highest level of decision making of the nation's most confidential matters, including "Star Wars." General Cordes was an active and colorful part of modern American military history.
Harry was also an avid golfer and tennis player, boater and fisherman on the Isle of Palms and an integral part of the Wild Dunes Community. He touched many lives and brought joy and humor to all.
In addition to his wife, Rogene, he is survived by two daughters, Gloria Ann Larson of Yarmouth Port, Mass., Jeanne Cordes of the Isle of Palms, two grandsons Ashley Louis Cordes and Decker Brooke Cordes of Mt. Pleasant, SC, his sister Ada McCrum of Gainesville, Georgia and many local relatives.
Family and friends are invited to attend his Memorial Service, 3:00PM, Wednesday, May 12, 2004 at McAlister-Smith Funeral Home, Mt. Pleasant Chapel, 1520 Rifle Range Road, in celebration of the many contributions Harry made to Military history and this community during his lifetime.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, 409 King St., Suite 300, Charleston, SC 29403.