While much is not known about Major General Ervin C. Sharpe’s early life, he achieved a prominent military career and made significant contributions to the prestige of the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base towards the end of the base’s days in active service.
Ervin attended Florida State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marketing in 1963. In 1979, he graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where he earned an MBA in aviation management. Ervin graduated from Officer Training School at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, in 1967, and entered the United States Air Force directly afterwards. He graduated from Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama in 1986.
As a command pilot, he has logged more than 3,300 ﬂying hours and ﬂew 242 combat missions over Southeast and Southwest Asia.
During the 70s, he served as an instructor pilot with the 8th Tactical Fighter Squadron, at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. He was also an instructor pilot with the same squadron at Takhil Royal Thai Air Base, in Thailand.
During the 80s, he was the chief of the Middle East and Africa Division for the U.S. Air Force Headquarters in Washington, D.C. He was also the assistant director for Joint and National Security Council matters from 1987 to 1988.
Having achieved the rank of Major General, he served at the Myrtle Beach Air Force base from January 1988 to June 1991 as vice commander and commander of the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing. To support Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield, he deployed, along with the 354th, to King Fahad International Airport in Saudi Arabia for air combat missions. Under his leadership, the wing executed outstanding military feats utilizing A-10 aircraft against Iraqis in both Kuwait and Southern Iraq.
After his tenure in Myrtle Beach and abroad on deployment, he acted as the vice commander of the 7th Air Force and chief of staff for the Combined Republic of Korea and U.S. Air Component Command, in Osan Air Base, South Korea. From 1993 to 1995, he was the deputy director for operations for the U.S. Pacific Command at Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii.
In addition to his post at Myrtle Beach, the major general served as commander for the Center for Aerospace Doctrine, Research and Education, at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama; vice commander for the 7th Air Force, at Osan Air Base in Korea. His last post was as director of operations for Headquarters Air Combat Command, at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia. He directed the operational planning, training and command and control functions to deploy and employ active and Air Force Reserve combat air forces. He was also responsible for overseeing more than 1,700 aircraft used worldwide by U.S. troops in support of homeland security objectives.
Major General Sharpe’s military awards and decorations include: the Defense Superior Service Medal; Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster; Distinguished Flying Cross; Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster; Air Medal with 15 oak leaf clusters; and Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster. A plaque commemorating his life can be found at the intersection of Farrow Parkway and Shine Avenue in the Market Common.