Enoch Bledsoe Stephenson, Jr. ’41

Enoch Bledsoe Stephenson, Jr. ’41, 93, died Jan. 21, 2012, was a man of faith, integrity, and service to his family and country. He was born May 24, 1918, in Columbia, Tenn., to the late Enoch B. Stephenson, Sr. and Florence Dowd Frierson. Stephenson was preceded in death by his brother, William Frierson Stephenson ’40, and sister, Florence Stephenson Little. In June 1949, he married the former Louise Buchanan Wells, 115 Woodmont Blvd., Apt. 703, Nashville, TN 37205-2269, who survives. Other survivors include two sons, Fredric Wells (Pamela) and John Frierson (Elisabeth). Also surviving are two grandchildren, William Richards Stephenson and Mattie Elisabeth Stephenson. He was educated at Columbia Military Academy and Davidson. In January 1942, he joined the Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet in pilot training, and graduated with wings and commission as a second lieutenant in July 1942. He flew fighter aircraft and joined the 339th Fighter Group in September 1943. After stateside training, his group was sent to England, where he joined the 8th Air Force to fly 66 combat missions in P-51 Mustangs. For his achievements, he was promoted to the rank of major, and was awarded numerous awards and decorations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, and the European Theater Ribbon (four Battle Stars). He continued flying with the Tennessee Air National Guard and was promoted to brigadier general. He transferred to the Air Force Reserve, from which he retired after 31 years of service. He then served as an investment banker and trust officer. Stephenson was active in First Presbyterian Church in Nashville, where he served as deacon, elder, and clerk of session. He served as chairman of the USO Operating Committee and director and vice president of the Nashville City. Stephenson was the president of the WWII Memorial Trust, which founded and supervised the planning and construction of the WWII Memorial in the Bicentennial Capital Mall. He was also a volunteer with the American Red Cross.