Lt. Col. Retired Donald M. Cummings
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Donald Cummings was born January 17, 1919 in Clayton, NY, a small town on the St. Lawrence River, a summer tourist location. His parents were Charlotte and Malcolm Cummings. In March 1941 Don enlisted in the US Army and was a Machine Gunner in the Horse Calvary. Don had never thought of becoming a pilot. While waiting for a transfer to the Philippines, Don was asked by a friend to go into town and take the Cadet exam. Shortly after taking the exam, he started Pilot training, and was assigned as a fighter Pilot to bomb and strafe in North Africa and Italy.
After returning to the states, Don requested a transfer to England where he flew a P-51 escorting bombers to Berlin. He shot down seven enemy planes becoming an Ace and receiving two Distinguished Flying Crosses, and twenty Air Medals. In 1947 he returned to March Field in Riverside, CA. While stationed at March he met and married Velma Bean in 1949. He served in the US Air Force until 1964. Don then became a Real Estate Broker in Redlands and San Bernardino. He was active in the Highland Congregational Church, in the Orange Empire Retired Officers Club, the Daedalans Club, the Optimist Club, and the Elks Lodge. In 1985 he purchased a sailboat in Finland and enjoyed sailing the Mediterranean for 3 years with family and friends. He also enjoyed playing golf. Don passed away at the age of 93. He was a loving husband, father and friend. Survivors include his wife Velma, his son Marc, his brother Robert Cummings, and several nieces and nephews in New York. Burial will be private at Riverside National Cemetery. On line condolences may be left to www.bobbittchapel.com
Published in San Bernardino Sun on Nov. 15, 2012