Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Duane T. Daily, USAFMay 29, 1942 – November 16, 2012
Duane T. Daily was a potential VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on November 16, 2012 at the age of 70 in Modesto, CA.
He served in Vietnam with the 40th ARRS using the call sign “Jolly Green Giant”.
More detail on this person: Capt. Duane T. “Smoke” Daily logged final flight entry November 16, whilst at home dreaming of adventures…
Smoke was a husband, father and aviator of the highest order. Born May 29, 1942 in McKeesport, PA, he is survived by his loving wife of 46 years, Lana, her children, Derek (Tiffany) and Darren (Crystal), their grandchildren Dylan/Iris & Eveie/Finn respectively, his mother Thelma Daily, sister-in-law-in-house, Marilyn Whitehead, sisters-in-law Joyce Rey (Arthur), Audrey Craig (Sherod), Donna DiPietrantonio and brother-in-law Will Aprile (Judy).
He attended Fresno State College joining Theta Chi and meeting Lana Jane, his wife to be. Shortly thereafter, the sky came a calling.
As a pilot, Duane’s career began under the tutelage of his father and fellow USAF airman, Lt. Col TH “Smoke” Daily. The nickname came along with the ride. Smoke served our country with honor from 1964 to 1970. Stationed in Minot AFB, ND, Southeast Asia and at Elmendorf AFB Anchorage AK, he earned several prominent recognitions including the Silver Star (Nov. 1968) for his gallant action during the Vietnam War.
If they built it, he could fly it… Over the course of 50 years, Smoke flew military, commercial and corporate equipment types, including but not limited to T-37/38, B-52, Jolly Green Giants, Huey, DC-8/10, B-727/737/747, A319/320, Pilatus and Citation. His commercial and private aviation highlights included logging over 22,000 flight hours with ZERO accidents or violations, serving as; a Chief Pilot for Transamerica Airlines (ex/Trans International Airlines aka TIA), a NASA trainer, an Airbus Cpt. for America West Airlines (US Airways) and most recently as a pilot for the DuraFlame Co. During each of these stays, Dad made numerous long-term friendships which continue to this day.
An avid classic car enthusiast and man of sport, Smoke loved to play golf, tennis, ski, walk dogs and collect (many) car parts. The auto fleet includes early Americana, European Muscle, Japanese import, modern Swedish and more. Some even have wheels. Recent missions required his participation in somewhat milder activities such as fishing, beachcombing and lounging, duties which he is also said to have performed with aplomb.
He visited every country of the world, with the exception of Russia, during his days in the military and at TIA. His family was lucky to enjoy travelling along on occasion, but as airplanes served as his office, he preferred to relax at home, play on the golf course, visit with neighborhood friends, take up a racquet or don a pair of trunks to swim with the family.
Smoke was loved especially for his good humor, being a good sport, his odd taste in leftovers, ‘over-the-top’ cabin PA announcements, but mostly for his dreaming. His parting was far too soon and he will be missed greatly.
A gathering to remember Smoke will take place early in the new year, inquires are welcomed via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Memorial contributions would also be welcomed via the Pancreatic Cancer Network at pancan.org and/or Community Hospice. www.cvobituaries.com
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