Colonel George Ryan Weinbrenner, USAF, (ret), passed away on March 7, 2010. He was born in Detroit, Michigan on June 10, 1917, to George and Helen Weinbrenner. Col Weinbrenner graduated with the class of 1940 from M.I.T. and completed the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program 1966. He married Billie Marjorie McConnell on May 2, 1955, in Arlington, Virginia. He had an honorable career with the United States Air Force that spanned 37 years of commissioned service. During WW II, he served a combat tour with the 8th A.F. in the European Theatre of Operation, including several months of duty in enemy occupied territory. On February 22, 1944, Col Weinbrenner was flying as an observer in a B-17 Flying Fortress over Belgium when the airplane was hit by German Fighters. Parachuting to safety, he was assisted by Belgium and French patriots and evaded the enemy for seven months in Belgium and France. After a few years in civilian life, he was ordered back to active duty as deputy commander, 439th Troop Carrier Wing at Selfridge A.F.B. Following the Korean War, the majority of his assignment were in the field of technical and scientific intelligence and research and development. He ended his career on September 1, 1975 as commander of Brooks Air Force Base. Col Weinbrenner authored numerous articles on foreign science and technology and is considered a leading authority on foreign military capabilities. He is an Associated Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Col Weinbrenner received the following military decorations: Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Air Medal, Purple Heart, French Order of National Merit. Resistance Medal and Croix de Guerre. He is survived by his wife, Billie, and cousins: Elizabeth Anne Weinbrenner, Wellington, NZ, Craig Wienbrenner, Richardson, Texas, Nancy Weinbrenner and Joan Weinbrenner, Morton Grove, IL. A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 11, 2010 at the Betty Cheever Chapel at the Army Residence Community. A graveside service with military honors will be held at 2:15 p.m. on March 11, 2010 at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery.
Published by San Antonio Express-News on Mar. 10, 2010.