CAMERON PARK, Calif. — Eugene "Gene" Fields, 73, of Cameron Park, Calif., and formerly of Hartford, passed away Sunday, March 9, 2014, following a long illness.
He was born Oct. 13, 1940, to Franklin and Pearl Fields of Hartford. He attended Wahama High School.
Gene served in the U.S. Air Force for more than 21 years. He was a chief gunner on a AC130 gunship. He served two tours in Vietnam and flew more than 150 missions. During his 105th mission, his aircraft was shot down over north Vietnam, and he was the only survivor of a crew of 11 men. He told this story in Life magazine. Gene was seriously burned, but by the grace of God, he survived. He received a Purple Heart, among other awards, medals, etc. Gene was truly a hero who loved his country.
Following his retirement, Gene and his family moved to Cameron Park. He lived there the rest of his life. He was a life member of the local VFW and the DAV.
Gene was preceded in death by his first wife of 42 years, Judy; their three sons, Steven, Ricky and David; and by both parents.
He is survived by his second wife, Phetlada "Phet"; two brothers, Jack, of Shingle Springs, Calif. and Michael, of New Lexington, Ohio; three sisters, Norma Greene, of Hartford, Sharon Baker, of New Lexington, and Beverly Roush, of Zanesville, Ohio; five grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Services were Wednesday, March 19, 2014, at Green Valley Funeral Home in Cameron Park. In lieu of flowers, people can make a donation to the local VFW and/or DAV post.