Camp Shelby Opens New Exhibit Honoring Lt. Col. David Anthony Wi - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Camp Shelby Opens New Exhibit Honoring Lt. Col. David Anthony Williams

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CAMP SHELBY -- The Military History Museum at Camp Shelby honors the life of man who served in the military for 27 years, Lt. Col. David Anthony Williams.

"He had a great sense of humor," his wife Carol Williams said.  "From the time I knew him he wanted to fly. He enjoyed his family, and he enjoyed meeting people."

According to his friends and family, Col. Williams was one of a kind.

"To have a room overflowing with people that Col. Williams has touched in his life was really remarkable and really special," Museum Director Chad Daniels said.

Williams said she feared her husband's military treasures would end up in a box, so she decided to donate them to the museum.  However she never thought her husband would have an entire exhibit dedicated to him.

"I think he would be overwhelmed and wondering why it was happening because his time was guard and reserve," Williams said.  "He was not active duty. He did not go to Iraq, Afghanistan or any of that, so I think he would think that should be reserved for them."

Daniels' criteria for finding a new exhibit is simple.  It must convey something special that guests can easily understand.

"This is one of those stories because there was so much that was special there," Daniels said.

Col. Williams began his military career in 1964 as a pilot with the Mississippi Air National Guard's 186th Aerial Reconnaissance group.  In 1974 he became a "hurricane hunter" until his retirement in 1991.

"I guess the one thing to take away from this is how one person can do so much," Daniels said.

"He loved his country, and he loved serving and didn't really want to retire when he did," Williams said.

Col. Williams was killed in an aviation accident in November 2012.

The exhibit was designed so that it is mobile.  It will remain at Camp Shelby for the next few months then travel to various locations where Col. Williams served before returning to it's permanent home in Hattiesburg.

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