Brig. Gen. William Donald Curry Jr. USAF (ret.), 87, of Minneapolis, Minn., passed away on Tuesday, April 16, 2013, at Patriots Colony in Williamsburg.
Bill was a member of the graduating class of 1950 at the U.S. Military Academy. Upon graduation he earned his master of science degree in international relations from George Washington University and was a graduate of Squadron Officer School, Armed Forces Staff College and the Air War College. Bill was a command pilot with over 6,500 flying hours. His military decorations and awards included the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, the Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation with two oak leaf clusters and the Army Commendation Medal.
His military career began during the Korean War
, flying in combat tour in the F-51 Mustangs. He spent his career as a pilot and flew combat missions as an F-4 Squadron commander with the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing at Da Nang Airbase in Vietnam and as the commander of the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing at Korat Air Base, Thailand, flying the A-7d Corsair II. During December 1958-June 1966 he was a SAC B47 aircraft pilot and training instructor in the 341 Bomb Wing 10th Bomb Squadron, Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona and the 100th Bomb Wing, Pease AFB in New Hampshire.
Other assignments included a tour as deputy chief, Joint Chiefs of Staff Matters, Global Plains and Policy Division, Directorate of Plains, Headquarters U.S. Air Force
, vice commander and commander of the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base: assistant deputy and deputy chief of staff, Logistics, Headquarters Tactical Air Command; commander of the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing; and commander, Tactical Training Davis-Monthan, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.
His final tour of duty was to command the Defense General Supply Center, Defense Logistics Agency in Richmond, prior to his retirement in 1980.
Bill considered his service of 32 years in the Air Force and the Army to be his calling and truly an honor. He continued to serve his community after his retirement as a charter member and president of the Brandermill Rotary Club
in Richmond and a board member of the Richmond United Way. He valued his associations working in leadership roles with the Rotary Club, the Air Force Association and the West Point Society. Bill was the chairman for the Disaster Services to the Red Cross of Virginia and was a consultant to the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C., providing disaster services and logistical support. He was able to use his skills and knowledge, his gifts and talents to support families devastated by natural disasters.
A funeral service will be held at 9 a.m. on Friday, July 12, at the Memorial Chapel in Arlington National Cemetery. Burial will follow with full military honors.
Bill is survived by his wife of 62 years, Bettie B. Curry; his son, William Donald "Chip" Curry III; and his daughter, Linda Curry Gaskins, and son-in-law, Kevin Gaskins; two granddaughters, Page and April Curry; and grandson, Kevin Curry Gaskins, and wife, Erica; loving nieces and nephews; as well as grand-nieces and -nephews.
Bill's family would be honored if memorial contributions would be made to the organizations that were special to him throughout his life. These include the American Red Cross, the Patriots Fund at Patriots Colony Williamsburg, and to support the families of wounded veterans
Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.bucktroutfuneralhome.net