Thomas Lytle III Moncks Corner - Thomas Eugene Lytle, III, 69, of Moncks Corner, SC, died suddenly on Sept. 6, 2021. Tom was born at Ft. Jackson, SC on January 3, 1952 to Thomas Eugene Lytle, Jr. and Maxine Denaro Lytle. From a young age, he was fascinated by flight, constructing airplane models and reading everything he could get his hands on about flying. However, his dreams of pursuing aviation as a career were initially halted when he suffered an eye injury in a fireworks accident as an adolescent. He attended The University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, where he was a member of the UNC Fencing Team and participated in Navy ROTC. In 1972, he transferred to The Citadel, where he participated on the Gymnastics Team and Navy ROTC. While at the Citadel, he found out that his eye injury had not affected his vision and would be able to qualify as a pilot. He graduated from The Citadel in 1974 with a degree in Biology. Following graduation, he married the love of his life, Alice Janice Smith, then reported to the Naval Aviation Schools Command, Pensacola, FL, to begin flight training. He was awarded his wings on Oct. 10, 1975. Col. Lytle also graduated from Webster University with an MA degree in Business Administration, The USAF Squadron Officers School, the USAF Air Command and Staff College, the USAF Air War College, He was a Distinguished Graduate of the Joint Firepower Control Course and graduated from the US Joint Targeting School. He served the US Navy as a pilot in Air Antisubmarine Squadron 30 flying S-3As and as a flight instructor in Training Squadron 21 flying TA-4Js. In 1978, Tom and Janice welcomed their first daughter, Katherine Page, born in Jacksonville, FL, while Tom was aboard the USS Forrestal. In 1981, he transferred to the US Air Force flying A-10As in the 25th Fighter Squadron in Korea. Upon coming home from Korea, he was assigned to the 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing, the "Flying Tigers", in Alexandria, Louisiana, where their second daughter, Jennifer Dennis, was born in 1985. Tom was next sent to the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing in Myrtle Beach, SC. He was the Squadron Commander of the 103rd Fighter Squadron, 111th Fighter Wing PA Air National Guard, which he led on an Operation Southern Watch deployment for which the squadron earned the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. He served as the A-10 Weapons and Tactics Officer at HQ US Central Command Air Forces. Tom retired from the USAF in 2004 as the Deputy Director of Air National Guard Forces, Air Combat Command. He went on to work another 10 years at HQ Joint Forces Command and the US Joint Staff as an Air Mission Director. Throughout his latter Air Force career, Tom served as a passionate advocate for the A-10 fighter aircraft, and the Close Air Support obligation to other branches of service. He was a life member of the Association of Citadel Men. Though his service to his country frequently took him far from home, Tom was a devoted father and loving husband. He never missed the chance to read to his girls before bed and was particularly gifted at giving the characters unique voices and accents to the delight of his daughters. Tom enjoyed the traveling required of him and he always took the time to learn about the cultures and explore the countries he visited. An 18-month deployment in Korea had a profound impact on his life; he became semi-fluent in the language and brought back a life-long love of Korean food and culture which he passed on to his children. Tom was an active member of his community, volunteering for Meals on Wheels, Veteran's Last Patrol, and the Hope Repair building ministry at Freedom Church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to any of these organizations listed above. Tom was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Janice. He is survived by two daughters, Katherine Collins and Jennifer Krenzer of Burlington, NC; three brothers: Capt Richard Albert Lytle, John Harry Lytle, and Brig Gen (ret.) Robert Kenyon Lytle, ID Army National Guard and his mother Maxine Denaro Lytle. The family will receive friends at Russell Funeral Chapel, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, from 5:30 to 7:00 P.M.. A graveside service with full military honors will take place, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, at Beaufort National Cemetery, directed by Russell Funeral Chapel. Masks are required. Visit our guestbook at legacy.com/obituaries/charleston
Published by Charleston Post & Courier from Sep. 18 to Sep. 19, 2021.