Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Senior Master Sergeant Donald Blackmore, United States Air Force, Ret.

Donald Blackmore was born April 16, 1923 in Cottage Grove, Oregon and passed away January 21, 2011, at the age of 87, at his home in Taylor, Texas.

Donald enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps where he became an aircraft mechanic, then progressed to maintenance supervisor. He was a maintenance crew chief and made many missions while serving during World War II, Korea and Vietnam. During World War II he was forced to bail-out three times because the aircraft was not going to make it home.

He worked on the B-25, B-29, B-36 and B-52. He was one of only a few enlisted pilots, and known by his peers as a skilled aircraft maintainer and manager. He knew how to fly and how to keep them flying.

Donald retired in 1969 with the rank of Senior Master Sergeant. He was a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.

After his military service he worked as a maintenance supervisor for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper, from which he retired.

He enjoyed traveling, and camping in his Recreational Vehicle. He loved to fish, to ranch, and the outdoors.

Funeral services were held on January 25 at the First United Methodist Church in Taylor. In attendance were the Patriot Guard Riders who formed a line of more than three dozen American flags at the entrance of the church to welcome the arriving family and friends.

The foyer of the church was filled with arrangements of flowers, and family photos adorned the piano in the fellowship hall of the church.

After the service, the flag draped casket was moved from the church to, and loaded into, the hearse while the Riders stood at attention and saluted.

The Patriot Guard Riders then led the funeral procession to the Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Cemetery in Pflugerville, Texas, where they formed a line of American flags around the grave site. The route of the procession was cleared, and traffic controlled, by officers of the Austin Police Department.

Present at the cemetery was the Air Force Honor Guard to render full military honors. The Honor Guard moved the casket from the hearse to the grave site. They then folded the American flag that draped the casket into a tight triangle. The Honor Guard's rifle detail fired three volleys of fire, representing Honor, Duty and Country. The Air Force bugler then played taps.

The folded flag was presented to Donald's beloved wife of over sixty years, Sarah, on behalf of the President of the United States, the Unites States Air Force and a grateful nation, as thanks for his many years of faithful service.

Donald Blackmore was laid to rest near a monument for Stephen F. Austin. Left to cherish his memory are his wife, his son, Ron and wife Rhonda of Elgin, his daughter, B.K. and husband Sam of Pflugerville, two grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, a sister and many other dear family and friends.

High Flight

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
and danced the skies on laughter silvered wings;
sun-ward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds...and done a hundred things
you have not dreamed of,
wheeled and soared and swung
high in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
my eager craft through footless balls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
the high untrespassed sanctity of space,
put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

With thanks to the Austin American-Statesman for biographical information

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