Nevada Wing Flight Scholarship
Nevada Family and Friends Honor the Memory of Major Billy R. Edwards with a Nevada Wing Cadet Solo Flight ScholarshipBy 1st Lt Jeanne K. Murphy
The Nevada Wing Civil Air Patrol lost a valued dedicated member last year. Major Billy R. Edwards, Jr. died on June 18, 2020 of natural causes at the age of 60. Bill as everyone knew him by grew up in Akron, Ohio. Both Bill’s father and mother were in the United States Air Force. His father, a C-133 aircrew member was killed on a mission in Southeast Asia when Bill was a year old.
Bill joined Civil Air Patrol at the age of twelve and progressed thru the cadet program reaching the rank of cadet Lt. Col. After high school Bill enlisted in the United States Air Force and was stationed at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas. After landing in Nevada, Bill transferred his membership to the Clark County Composite squadron not realizing that by joining this unit he would be marrying into a “CAP Family”. Bill was survived by his wife of 40 years, Karen Edwards. When Bill married Karen, he married into her “CAP Family”. Karen’s parents, brother and sister were all members of Civil Air Patrol. His mother-in-law, Lt Col Doris North who lived with them until her passing in October of 2019 was a 63-year member and previous National Senior Member of the Year. His sister-in-law, 1st Lt Jeanne Murphy is currently a member of the Las Vegas Composite Squadron.
Over the years Bill became a Command Pilot, Mission Pilot, “O” Ride Pilot, Glider Tow Pilot, and a Green Flag crew member. He served as a Squadron Commander, Encampment Commander and Director of Cadet programs for Nevada Wing as well as many other assignments. In his free time, Bill’s other hobby was being a fiber optics engineer and computer engineer for Las Vegas Underground Electric Company.
Bill devoted himself to taking cadets for orientation rides and sharing his passion of flying with them in hopes of inspiring them to become pilots. Often during the “O” rides Bill would fly the cadets to Death Valley National Park where he would buy them lunch and let them enjoy the visitors center where they could learn the history of the area.
To honor Bill’s memory and his legacy in Nevada Wing of mentoring cadets in Leadership and Aerospace education, his family and many friends have established the Major Billy R. Edwards Memorial Flight Scholarship.
The scholarship will be awarded annually to the most deserving and qualified Nevada Wing cadet applicant. The scholarship will provide the cadet with the funds to reach their solo flight in a CAP aircraft with a Civil Air Patrol CFI. The scholarship will also provide for the cadet’s medical certificate, written exam, and a headset. After their solo, the cadet will apply for the Civil Air Patrol Wings program as part of their obligation as a scholarship recipient.