Photo: Edward Cox (left) receives a John Wesley Society plaque from Waymon Hickman, a former inductee into the society (center) and Chaz Molder, president of UM Men of First UMC, Columbia.
COLUMBIA, Tenn.–– Edward Cox. 90, a former B-17 co-pilot who flew 35 missions over Germany during World War II, was inducted into the John Wesley Society by UM Men of First UMC in Columbia.
Based some 60 miles outside of London in 1942, Cox was part of a nine-member crew that flew 35 bombing missions over Germany. The plane was severely damaged on the 34th mission and forced to crash land in Holland, but the crew was uninjured. “I still have phone conversations with my navigator who lives in Iowa,” said Cox.
In 1944, Cox became an instructor for future aviators. In 1945, he entered Tennessee Tech and after graduation, he received a graduate degree in agricultural education from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
He taught at Central High School in Columbia for 10 years and was later named superintendent of schools in Maury County, a position he held for 22 years. He finished his career as commissioner of education for the state of Tennessee, based in Nashville.
Cox has taught Sunday school classes and Disciple Bible classes at First UMC.
Now living at the Bridge, an assisted living community, he is the father of three and grandfather of three.
Being named a fellow in the John Wesley Society is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a United Methodist by the General Commission on UM Men.