Colonel Troy J. Dent

Colonel Troy J. Dent was brought to this earth on May 21, 1931, in Henderson, Texas, and departed on his last flight Jan. 12, 2015. Troy was preceded in passing into the endless perfect day by his parents, Roy and Odell Dent; sisters, Ouida Whiteside and Rodell Spencer; along with his brother, Jack Dent. Remaining here on the tarmac are his brothers, Roy and Ted Dent; along with Troy's caring wife (and great mom) of 46 years, Kay Dent. Other notable ground personnel are Troy's surviving sons, Thomas Dent (Washington, D.C.), Scott Dent (Waukesha, Wis.), Dr. Troy Dent Jr. (Albuquerque, N.M.), Mark Dent (Lynn Haven, Fla.); daughters, Janet Dent (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.) and Melisa Dent (Arlington, Va.); plus nine grandchildren.

Prior to earning his wings, Troy spent his youth in Tenaha and Timpson, Texas, where he earned the title of Eagle Scout. Leaving his youth behind, Troy ventured to Southwestern University, earning Bachelor of Science degrees in biology and chemistry in 1952, which he put to great use as a fighter pilot. Thus in 1953 Troy began his Air Force career; serving as a fighter pilot and instructor pilot in a variety of aircraft in squadrons at Nellis Air Force Base (AFB), Nev.; Naha Air Base (AB), Okinawa; Perrin AFB, Texas; Misawa AB, Japan; Clark AB, Philippines; Lockbourne AFB, Ohio; and Otis AFB, Mass; along with three different bases in Southeast Asia, from where he completely 74 combat missions into Vietnam.

Following his combat tours Troy served as chief of standardization and evaluation for the 51st Fighter Wing, Naha AB, Okinawa. Coming back stateside Troy was stationed with 474th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Nellis AFB flying the F-111, an aircraft for which he had great affinity.

Troy was promoted to the rank of colonel in 1973, and assigned to the Pentagon as a charter member of AFTEC, later renamed AFOTEC. and Then in August 1977, Col. Dent activated commanded AFOTEC's Detachment 2 at Eglin AFB, Fla., which became his last station before retiring in 1982.

Col. Dent was a command pilot with flying hours in the F-94C, F86D/L, F-15, F-111, F-5E, A-9/10, T-34, and F-102A, along with seat time in numerous other aircraft. Upon Troy's separation from the Air Force, he had earned numerous awards and decorations, along with the thanks of his fellow Airmen.

After his military service Troy spent the next 11 years providing critical technical expertise to the Air Force. Upon final retirement Col. Dent enjoyed being an active member in various organizations including: Eglin Yacht Club, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Republican Club, and was an Ocean City/Wright Fire commissioner.

Troy loved getting together with friends and cohorts, and following in this theme there will be a celebration of his life at the Benevolent Post of the Elks on Highway 98 in Fort Walton Beach on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015, at 3 p.m. Please join us to raise a glass of your favorite and toast the life of this man.

Burial was at the Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola, Fla., on Jan. 19, 2015.

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