We lost a true hero on July 21, 2021 – CAPT Edwin A. Greathouse (USN Ret) passed away peacefully after a short illness in Austin, Texas. Ed, a native Austinite, was born in 1929. He was preceded in death by the love of his life and wife of 67 years, Mary Curb. Surely, Mary is now pinning a second set of wings on Ed in heaven. Ed is survived by his four daughters: Karen, Sandy, Toni and Susan; three sons-in law: Robert Romero, Jack St John and Jeff Hall; six grandchildren: Brooke, Brittin, Nathan, Evan, Emily and Ian; and two great grandchildren: Maeryn and Max.
In 1947, at age 18, Ed enlisted in the US Navy as an Electronics Technician. He served on the USS Bataan during the Korean Conflict. In 1955 he entered Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, and was commissioned that year.
He earned his Naval Aviator Wings in 1956, with cruises on the USS Ticonderoga, Bennington, Midway & Constellation between 1957-1968. In his 34-year career Ed had more than 700 carrier landings, 760 combat flight hours and over 5000 total flight hours in the A1 Skyraider and A-7E Corsair. He was the XO and Commander of VA 25 in Lemoore, California. At the time of his promotion to Navy Captain in 1976, Ed was one of fewer than 100 “mustangs” to accomplish this feat.
In the summer of 1965 while flying off the USS Midway, Ed was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for two separate missions. In June 1965 he was VA 25 Flight Leader in a group of four A-1's (propeller driven aircraft) that shot down a MIG 17 (jet fighter). This mission was later documented on the History Channel. The second DFC, came later that summer when Ed and his wingman, LTJG Holt Livesay, provided close air support and cover for over six hours during the rescue of Air Force Captain Frank Tullo, whose F105D was shot down over North Vietnam, along with 5 other pilots that day. Tullo was the only pilot rescued that day. Thirty years later he was able to track down Ed, Holt and others involved in his rescue, and the families have remained connected. There were undoubtedly other heroic missions Ed documented in his meticulous flight log, which will be donated to the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida.
Retirement brought Ed and Mary home to Austin. Over the next 30 years they welcomed friends and growing family to their lovely home in Lost Creek. Guests were usually treated to one of Ed’s famous driving tours of his beloved Austin. The couple traveled extensively at this time, and especially enjoyed Ed’s Navy reunions. Ed was an avid reader and master craftsman of model airplanes, his favorite hobby among many interests. In 2009 Ed and Mary moved to Longhorn Village in Steiner Ranch. Original residents, they were respected and well-liked members of their retirement community. His family believes Ed’s most heroic endeavor was the dedicated and loving care he provided Mary in her final years. Theirs was a love that grew richer over time. Ed remained a dignified and honorable man, but also developed a kind gentleness that endeared him to all who knew him. We, his family, are so proud of this extraordinary man. We will love and miss him forever.