NEW PROVIDENCE - Joseph Raymond Williams, 89, of New Providence, Iowa, was the fifth child of Malo and Luther Williams, born on June 15, 1932. His four siblings were Lowell, Paul, John and Lois.
Upon graduation from New Providence High School in 1950, he headed off to the University of Iowa where he was a member of the SAE fraternity and ROTC. Air Force ROTC enamored Joe with the potential of a career in flight, and he soon found himself in basic pilot training in April 1955 at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. In Dec. 1959, he was based in Masawa, Japan, flying photo reconnaissance in RF-101 aircraft over Vietnam. In 1962-1964, Joe was in the RF-101 Squadron that executed photo reconnaissance over Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The aerial photography over Cuba earned him the United States Air Force Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was the formation’s lead pilot for a fly-over for President John F. Kennedy.