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U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Erling Drangstveit, Lt. Colonel, USAF (Retired)November 14, 1932 – September 26, 2017
Obituary of Erling DrangstveitLt. Col., USAF (Ret.)Passed away peacefully on Tuesday, September 26, 2017, at age 84, and is now with his Lord and Savior. He was born November 14, 1932, in Blair, Wisconsin.Erling was predeceased by his parents, Arthur and Bernice Drangstveit; brothers, Art and Willis Drangstveit; and sisters, Betty Solfest and JoAnn Bautch.He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Lucretia Murray Drangstveit; and lovingly remembered by daughter, Gail; son, Mark Drangstveit; son, Richard Drangstveit and his wife Songsuk; and grandsons, Jason and Daniel Drangstveit; and several nieces and nephews.Erling was raised on a farm and had aspirations to join the U.S. Air Force and become a pilot. He served honorably from 1952 to 1973, retired at the rank of Lt. Col., was triple rated having served as a navigator, fixed wing pilot, and helicopter pilot with air rescue missions during the Vietnam War where he received air medals and the distinguished flying cross.Erling had multiple assignments worldwide which included Detachment Commander positions. While stationed in Washington State he carried out air search and rescue missions.Following retirement he settled with his family in Fircrest, Washington. He was an active member of Redeemer Lutheran Church. His family expresses deepest gratitude to the staff of the Tacoma Lutheran Home for their loving care over the last three years. A memorial service will be held at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1001 Princeton St., Fircrest, WA 98466, on Saturday October 7, 2017, at 1 pm. Reception to follow in the fellowship hall. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the L’Arche Tacoma Hope Community, 12303 35th Ave. East, Tacoma, WA 98446, or Redeemer Lutheran Church.