Melvin Dale Swope


Melvin Dale Swope was born July 18, 1937 in Liberty, Pennsylvania, to Sebert Eldon Swope and Ellen Catherine (Wiemert) Swope. He passed away January 19, 2022.

He served in the U.S. Air Force for 27 years. He is survived by his wife Joan Carol (Koehne) Swope to whom he was married 65 years.

Melvin is also survived by three daughters Debra K., Brenda (Thompson) Swope, and Cheryl M.; two sons Bryan Swope and Myron Swope; seven grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; one brother Joe Swope; and four sisters Charlotte Swope, Marilyn Fenton, Wanda Swope (deceased), and Theresa Cratsley.

Melvin received a member of certificate and accommodation in the Air Force where he retired as a Senior Master Sergeant. He loved swimming and working on things.

Melvin was a loving father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was active in his church, loved working outside in his garden, and loved working on his place. He built two houses alongside his wife in Marian, Texas, and Gilham, Arkansas

He lived in Cove, Arkansas, for 20 years alongside his family in which he helped them in their daily lives. He was always there when he was needed and will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

Melvin was with the 62nd fighter Interceptor squadron in the 56th fighter group (ADC) K.I. Sawyer Air Force base Michigan which boasts a 12,300-foot runway capable of accommodating the huge B-52 Bombers, The KC-135 Jet Tankers and the F-101 B Fighter Interceptor aircraft based there.

Airman Swope, a Personal Equipment Specialist, took his place alongside other specialists in the USAF Air Defense Command’s newest link in the chain of installations guarding America’s northern frontier. Airman Swope joined the United States Air Force October 31, 1954, and later served at Wright Patterson AFB.

Sergeant Melvin D. Swope was assigned to the U.S. Air Force “Hurricane Hunters” at Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico. Sergeant Swope was a flight equipment technician who supported the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron’s WC-130 Hercules aircraft. The 53rd flew 68 storm missions and provided vital warnings after entering the hazardous weather to see the “eye” of each storm.

He also served in Vietnam for a year transporting equipment back and forth between the different … to which he saw the aftermath of combat.

With 500 personnel and 13 aircraft, the unit was poised in the middle of the tropical storm breeding grounds. Being stations in Puerto Rico enabled the squadron to search out developing storms more than 200 miles away.

While hurricane reconnaissance was the most colorful portion of the squadron’s mission, it also supported aerial refueling, Air Force Missile Test Center shots and atmospheric sampling missions for the Atomic Energy Commissions and other governmental agencies.

Arrangements have been entrusted to A Natural State Funeral Service. 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas 72076. 501-982-3400.

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