Devol Brett

Lt. General Devol "Rock" Brett

Naples, FL

Lt. General Devol "Rock" Brett (USAF Ret.) passed away on Saturday, August 14, 2010. A resident of Naples, FL, he was born at Letterman Military Hospital, Presidio of San Francisco on August 1, 1923. He was the son of Lt. General George H. Brett, the first chief of the Air Corp and grandson of Army Major C.A. Devol.

After graduation from the Sullivan and Landon preparatory school in DC, General Brett earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from George Washington University. He graduated from the USAF Air Tactical School, from Great Britain's Royal Air Force Staff College and the U.S. National War College. He was a Trustee at the U.S. Air Force Academy and this year was named an outstanding alumnus of the Landon School.

An illustrious career in the Air Force began with the 86th Fighter Wing in Germany after WW II, including flights in the early stages of the Berlin Airlift. He flew 100 combat missions in a P-51 in Korea. As Vice Commander of the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing, he flew more than 100 combat missions in Vietnam. He was shot down over North Vietnam but was rescued by Air Sea Rescue. It was his rescue that led to the formation of the Air Sea Rescue Squadron that has been active ever since. Air Sea Rescue and the subsequent development of helicopters designed specifically for these efforts was of major interest to General Brett, and he took great pride in serving as a consultant on several major Defense projects developing rescue strategies and technologies that recently have been extended to civilian situations.

Following his Air Force flying years he continued his Air Force career serving in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of Defense. He became the first Air Force U.S. Military Assistance Advisory Group Chief in Iran and was named Allied Air Forces Southern Europe Commander of the 16th Air Force. Following his retirement from the Air Force, he joined the Institute for Defense Analysis that directly supports the office of the Secretary of Defense. This included major efforts involving personnel recovery and combat search and rescue.

He was the recipient of more than 25 medals, including the Silver Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters. He also earned medals from Italy and Vietnam, and was awarded Vietnamese and Turkish Air Force pilot wings.

After fully retiring, he gave freely of his time to area youth including giving speeches at Memorial Day and Veterans Day celebrations and supporting the Junior ROTC Program in Collier County. He was also very active in the Air Force Falcon Founders Foundation that supports high school students who are candidates for the Air Force Academy.

General Brett is survived by his wife, Lou Longino Brett; his son, George Howard Brett II and wife, Sally; daughter, Karla Wickett and son-inlaw, Ken; grandchildren, (Lt. USAF) Sarah Scott and Michael Dietz, Megan Brett, Brett Thompson, Lauren and Shane Hamilton, and Elizabeth Wickett; great-grandson, Cole Hamilton; and stepchildren, Kathy Sanchez, and Nolan and Kay Sanchez.

General Brett was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Mini Brett.

Interment will be in Arlington Cemetery on December 9th, but a Celebration of his Life will be held at Bentley Village on Saturday, August 28th at 2:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Air Force Academy Association.

Published by Naples Daily News on Aug. 22, 2010.
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13 Entries
I had the distinct honor to work with Gen. Brett while supporting the Navy's CSEL survival radio program, as well as at several DoD Personnel Recovery Conferences and operational test events. Even into what normally would be retirement years for most, "Rock", as he insisted on being addressed (though most that worked with him would not add call him anything but General, due to the respect he truely deserved), would be out in the field and enjoying working with the young airmen, soldiers, sailors and marines that may not have known his background but recognized a true warrier and patriot. I will forever treasure the time and advise he generously passed on to those he mentored and gratiously & passionately lent his wisdom and leadership to. RIP, General - I know you are Soaring with the Eagles, now and forever, having already lived amongst them for so long.

David Avery (LCDR, USN) - San Diego, CA
September 7, 2010
What a wonderful man - all I ever saw was that beautiful smile. Such a sweet soul. Miss you so much. Love you so much.
Anne Hammond
August 27, 2010
General, You were quite a man. Your passion in supporting the Personnel Recovery mission and its developing technologies inspired many of us to keep plugging along for the betterment of the mission. Rock, you were a "hoot," and your sense of humor always made us feel like we were your best buddies. You certainly were ours!! I'll remember you for my lifetime. Thanks for being a friend!
Paul Boucher
August 27, 2010
General Brett -
You are a wonderful soul. My husband & I are so thankful to have met you during all of the Memorial & Veteran's Day Ceremonies. May your selfless acts never be overlooked. We will miss you.
Allison & Chad Coleman
August 24, 2010
We have lost a true Warrior, dedicated mentor, fine gentleman and selfless friend but are so much the better for having known him! Condolences to his family and friends but know that he is with Mini and all is well overhead! God bless.
Ken Pribyla
August 24, 2010
My deepest condolences to Gen. Brett's family and friends. He was a great advisor and colleague; and will be tremendously missed by all in the search & rescue community. As the former Navy program manager for search & rescue radios, I had the honor & privelege of knowing and learning from the General. I considered him an invaluable resource & an informal mentor; and looked up to him greatly. He will be missed greatly.
Cindy Machnov
August 24, 2010
I will miss this great mentor, advisor, and friend. I know he will continue watching over me and other Rescue warriors from the neighboring bright shadows. See you later my friend.
Hooter Hecht
August 24, 2010
Fly with the eagles Uncle Rock. Thank you for all you did for me and my family during your life. You will be greatly missed.

Brett & Marilyn
Brett Schriever
August 23, 2010
You have left us far too soon Rock. I miss you so much!
Maria Brooker
August 23, 2010
I had the honor to call General Brett my friend. If anyone upheld the saying " Duty, Honor, Country" it was this fine Officer.
You will be missed General. Not only as a friend, but as a valuable help to the veterans organizations in Collier County. Rest in Peace Sir. You will be missed.

John Skiles
Collier County Veterans Council
August 23, 2010
Lila Kalm
August 22, 2010
Be at Peace, my dear friend.
Dr. Max J. Kalm
August 22, 2010
Rock, " be thou at peace".
You were a great example of Duty,Honor,Country" in everything you did. We all will miss your friendship,guidance and sense of humor.
Jodie Glore WP-1969
August 22, 2010
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