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7121 Wyoming Boulevard
Albuquerque, NM 87109
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Fred Tawney

1922 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Fred Tawney Obituary
Tawney, Fred, Lt. Col. USAF (Ret.)

Fred Tawney, Lt. Colonel, Air Force (Retired), died May 30, 2016, Memorial Day, a tribute to his long military career. Fred was born in 1922 and raised in Muskegon, MI, before enlisting in the Army Air Corps in 1940, after graduating high school. Fred took his basic training with the 27th Infantry Regiment, Wolfhounds, at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii and was assigned as an armorer for the P-40 fighters stationed at nearby Wheeler Field. He was actually in the mess hall when the first bombs fell 7 December 1941 and assisted setting up anti-aircraft guns to return fire against the strafing and bombing Japanese fighters that went on to attack Pearl Harbor. After war was declared, he was reassigned to Hethel Field, England, as a flight engineer on the B-24 Liberator bombers and flew 14 missions over Germany. He was hit badly on two missions, losing 3 engines on one and two on another. In both instances his planes crash-landed, once in France, fortunately in Allied held territory. He was later reassigned to the base sub depot to take advantage of his mechanical skills in repairing aircraft. While in this assignment, he was awarded the Bronze Star for building a bomb loader to increase the speed of reloading bombs for the multiple missions required to support the Normandy Invasion of occupied Europe.

While in England, he met and married Dorothy Green, a schoolteacher in London, and they returned to his hometown in Michigan after the war. He attended the University of Michigan and went into the reserves as a master sergeant in the new service branch, the Air Force. When the Korean War broke out, he was called back to active duty and given a direct commission as an officer. He specialized in electronics and communications, becoming a communications security officer. He inspected and managed U.S. communications sites throughout the near and far East as well as Europe during the Korean War, the Cold War, and the Vietnam War. For example, he was the chief of staff for communications Southeast Asia and stationed at Tan San Nhat Air Base near Saigon from 1966 to 1967.

He retired from active duty in 1970 and soon completed his master's degree in education to begin a second career as an industrial arts instructor at John Adams Middle School with Albuquerque Public Schools before retiring in 1985. Much of his retirement was spent traveling with his wife in their RV to visit his children and grandchildren throughout the United States before his loss of eyesight prevented him from driving. At his death he and Dorothy had been married over 71 years.

He is survived by his wife; six children; eleven grandchildren; and numerous great grandchildren, all of whom will miss his indomitable spirit and loving attention.

A Rosary will be recited Monday, June 6, 2016, 8:30 a.m. at Shrine of St. Bernadette, 11509 Indian School Rd. NE. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 9:00 a.m. Friends and family may visit beginning at 8:00 a.m. Interment will take place Wednesday, June 8, 2016, 1:30 p.m., at Santa Fe National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Practical Nursing Program, Fred Tawney Memorial Scholarship Fund, Career Enrichment Center, 807 Mountain Rd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87102. Please visit our online guestbook for Fred at


FRENCH â€" Wyoming

7121 Wyoming Blvd. NE

(505) 823-9400
Published in Albuquerque Journal on June 4, 2016
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