Charles W. Turner, 97, of Lemoyne, died Tuesday, July 17, 2012, at his residence.
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Born on Oct. 9, 1914, in Manhattan, Mont., he was the son of the late Harry W. and Mabel E. (Willard) Turner. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Valerie J. Turner.
Surviving are his wife of 73 years, Jane Chaffin Turner; two sons, Richard D. (Rebecca) of Montrose, Colo., Lee C. (Sharon) of Lemoyne; two daughters, Ann Turner of Camp Hill, Carolyn Benedict (Donald) of Mount Wolf; 13 grandchildren; 26 grandchildren.
An ROTC student, he graduated from Montana State University in 1937 where he was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.
In 1940 he was called to active duty in the Army Air Corps. During his tour of duty in North Africa he was shot down over the Mediterranean Sea. In the dark, he landed safely on the water. After two days in a life raft he and his crew were rescued by a British destroyer.
Then assigned to the Yugoslavia/Balkans area he was awarded The Distinguished Flying Cross for flying a night mission into mountainous terrain in an unarmed C-47 troop carrier without benefit of navigational aids to deliver supplies behind enemy lines. With only burning fuel barrels to mark the landing strip he executed a perfect landing. Loading the plane with as many wounded personnel as possible he managed to clear the high mountains and return safely to base.
In 1974, Lt. Col. Turner retired from the Air Force Reserves.
In 1945 he began a 55 year career in the automobile business working for his father-in-law at The Northern Auto Company in Bozeman. Moving to York, Pa. in 1957, he opened an Edsel dealership. The car was a huge failure but he eventually found success as co-owner of Royer Buick in Harrisburg in 1968. The business was sold to his sons in 2000.
Many large family gatherings and world travels highlighted his retirement.
He was a member of the Masonic Lodge and Shriners International member since 1945.
Funeral services will be held at Pine Street Presbyterian Church, 310 N. Third Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101, at 11 a.m. on Saturday with the Rev. Dr. Russell C. Sullivan, Jr., his pastor, officiating. Burial will be in Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Hanover Twp. on Monday at 2:30 p.m.
There will be no viewing or visitation.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Central PA Food Bank or Pine Street Presbyterian Church.
For more information or to send messages of condolence, please visit www.Parthemore.com.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle from July 20 to July 28, 2012