Command Sgt. Maj. William T. Mixon – airborne soldier – dies at 85

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Command Sgt. Maj. William T. Mixon, USA, Ret., died Jan. 18 in West Palm Beach, Fla., at the Veterans Administration Hospital.

Mixon was born in Vidalia, Ga., on Jan. 15, 1929, and entered the Army in 1948.

He completed 35 years of service retiring at Fort Bragg, N.C., as the command sergeant major, XVIII Airborne Corps.

During his career, he held numerous positions of increasing responsibility including sergeant major, U.S. Army Ranger Department; command sergeant major, U.S. Army Infantry Center; command sergeant major, 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam; and command sergeant major, U.S. Army Alaska.

He served 31 years on parachute status completing more than 1,500 military static line parachute jumps.

Mixon served in combat during the Korean War with the 3rd Infantry Division where he participated in the Inchon Landing and fought in the Chosen Reservoir Operations.

He served 18 months in combat during the Korean War.

He also served two one-year tours during the Vietnam War with the 101st Airborne Division including service as the 101st Airborne Division command sergeant major from 1969-1970.

He participated in numerous operations such as Operation Hawthorne, Junction City, and a parachute drop at Kontoon, Vietnam.

Although not deployed during the Cuban missile crisis, he was stationed in the Panama Canal Zone where his unit was poised for contingency airborne operations associated with that historic period of American history.

After his retirement from active duty in 1983, he worked for Mutual of New York Life Insurance Company in Fayetteville, N.C., and managed his own business.

He was chosen by President Ronald Reagan to serve on the National Veterans Cemetery Board.

He served on the advisory boards of the Association of the United States Army and its Braxton Bragg Chapter.

He was also a member of the Association of the United States Army’s Council of Trustees.

His awards and honors include two Legions of Merit, the Bronze Star, 44 Air Medals, one with V device; the Korean War and Vietnam War Service Medals and Combat Infantryman Badge with star.

He earned the Master Parachutist Badge, Ranger Tab, and Expert Infantry Badge.

He is a member of the U.S. Army Ranger Hall of Fame, Ranger Training Brigade Hall of Fame, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division Hall of Fame and the U.S. Infantry Center Dough Boy Award.

He was honored with the Association of the United States Army’s Sgt. Maj. of the Army William G. Bainbridge Medal and the AUSA Presidents Medal for his service to the Association and the Army.

Mixon leaves behind his wife of 63 years Mary Winefred Mixon.

He has three children, Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, USA, Ret., Sarah Jane Forsythe and Betty Jean Davidson.

He has six grandchildren, Michael, Ashlee, Kortney, Adrienne, Amanda and Charles, and four great grandchildren, Mary Charlotte, Frederick, Eliza, and James.

Funeral services were held at the Ronald V. Hall Funeral Home, Vidalia, Ga., on Jan. 18.