Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Warner A. Britton, Colonel, USAF (Retired)April 01, 1925 – June 10, 2005
Colonel (USAF Ret.) Warner A. Britton (1925 – 2005) was born in Liberal, Kansas on April 1st, 1925. After graduating from Liberal High School in 1941, he joined the Army Air Force in March 1943. He completed Flight Training at Freeman Field, Indiana in June 1944 and then co-pilot training at Keesler Field, Mississippi and was assigned to the 2nd Emergency Rescue Squadron in preparation for deployment overseas to join the war effort in the Pacific. He arrived in New Guinea in October 1944 and began performing the “DUMBO” mission of the 2nd ERS. Along with the OA-10A “Catalina”, he also flew the C-47B “Skytrain” and was involved in a memorable mission in April of 1945 where he was forced to ditch his fuel starved plane in the sea. Colonel Britton remained with the 2nd ERS until the end of the war where he had multiple stateside assignments.
After the war Colonel Britton attended Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama from 1946 to 1948 and then completed his Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and History with degrees in Philosophy and History. He later received a Master’s Degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He remained in the United States Air Force and retired a full Colonel in August 1973 after serving in Vietnam. While in the Air Force he was qualified in the following aircraft: PT-19, BT-13, AT-6, AT-7, AT-10, AT-11, C-45, C-46, T-41, OA-10A, C-47, HH-3, RB-36, H-19, H-5, H-13, H-21, HH-43, & HH-53.
Colonel Britton amassed more than 6,500 hours in military aircraft with 3,500 of those being in helicopters.
Pacific Theater, WWII (1944 – 1945) – Rapid City AFB, South Dakota (1950 – 1953) – Sembach & Spangdahlem, Germany (1953 – 1956) – Washington, D.C. (1956 – 1958) – Thule (1959 – 1960) – Kirkland AFB, New Mexico (1960 – 1962) – Maxwell, AFB, Alabama (1962 – 1966) – Udorn, Thailand (1966 – 1967) – Eglin AFB, Florida (1968 – 1971) – Vietnam (1971 – 1972) – Scott AFB, Illinois (1972 – 1973) – Retired (August 1973)
His awards and decorations included: Air Force Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit, Air Medal (8 OLC), World War II Victory Medal, Asiatic/Pacific Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, National Defense Service ribbon, Air Force Commendation Medal, & Command Pilot Wings.
Britt passed away Friday night, June 10, 2005 after complications from routine surgery. He fought hard right to the end, and now… mission accomplished old friend… Rest in Peace.