Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Harry Patrick Dunn, Colonel, USAF (Retired)July 24, 1931 – November 14, 2012
Colonel, USAF Retired, Harry Patrick Dunn, of Locust Grove, VA, passed away November 14, 2012, due to complications from Alzheimer’s.
He was born in Eagle Grove, IA, to Leo and Eloise Dunn, he grew up in Des Moines, IA., graduating from Roosevelt High School and attending Iowa University before entering the Naval Academy (24th Company). He was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force upon graduation.
Following fixed-wing and helicopter flight training (1955), he held various European operational flying assignments. Returning to the States, he earned a MS in aeronautical engineering from the University of Colorado (1962).
At the Systems Support Program Office, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH., he was instrumental in adapting the Sikorsky S-61 (H-3) helicopter to the demanding USAF combat rescue requirements in SEA, as flight test director (HH-3E “Jolly Green Giants” Program). He proposed that an HH-3 could be refueled by a C-130 using the fixed-wing aircraft’s hose/drogue system. The first practical capability was deployed in 1967, extending the HH-3’s operational range; allowing them to be based at less vulnerable locations; allowing rescues to be made at the most opportune moment; and allowing fuel to be dumped to facilitate out of ground effect hover. The techniques Harry envisioned and implemented are still the basis for military helicopter in-flight refueling to this day.
In 1965, he moved to Andrews AFB, MD., continuing work on V/STOL requirements, including fielding the HH-53 “Super Jolly Green” and evaluating the AV-8 and XV-142. While on special assignment to identify rapid-reaction changes, he flew combat missions in SEA.
In 1969, he was chief of flight operations at Osan AB, Korea. Back in DC in 1971, he was legislative liaison for the office of the Secretary of the Air Force and Secretary of Defense. He retired in 1977 and was awarded the Legion of Merit from both organizations.
He was director of congressional affairs with Martin-Marietta (1977-1991) and received their highest employee award, the Jefferson Cup. A charter member of the National Aviation Hall of Fame, he was active with the American Helicopter Society, the USAF Helicopter Pilot Association, Air Force Association, Jolly Green Association and the Naval Institute.
Preceded in death by his wife Evelyn Marie Dunn; his parents; and sisters, Mary Ruth and Polly. He is survived by his children Harry Patrick (Pat) Dunn, Jr., Mary Michele Sharon and Patrick, Francis Michael (Mike) Dunn and Mary, Neil Christopher (Chris) Dunn and Alexandra, Matthew Timothy (Tim) Dunn, and Katherine Maureen Jeter and Ned; his grandchildren Katie, Kelly, Meghan, Colleen, Shannon, Michael, Patrick, Caroline and Sean; his brother Timothy Dunn, his sisters Eileen Wolff and Judy Peace; and many nieces and nephews, and dear friends.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Saturday, November 17th at St. Veronica Catholic Church, Chantilly, VA. Burial will be at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery. Updated information can be located at www.adamsgreen.com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the National Capital Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association or to The Fisher House Foundation.
Colonel Harry P. Dunn’s burial with full military honors, at Arlington National Cemetery, is going to be on Monday April 15, 2013 at 11 a.m.
‘REMEMBRANCES’(Notes from RotorHeads and other sources in remembrances of this individual)
In 1965, then Major Harry P. Dunn was instrumental in the development and testing of the helicopter in-flight re-fueling concept. Major Harry P. Dunn had spent his entire Air Force career flying helicopters. He believed it was possible to air refuel an H-3 from a C-130. Headquarters Air Rescue Service authorized him to test the concept. He jerry-rigged a fuel probe to the front of a CH-3. While it was not plumbed to anything, it would serve the purpose of attempting a link up with an in-flight KC-130 refueler.
On 15 December 1965, at MCAS Cherry Point, N.C., an Air Force CH-3 Helicopter, Piloted by Don Eastman and Dick Wright did their “flight testing” thing and made the FIRST In-flight Refueling hookups. Even though no fuel was transferred via the jerry-rigged fuel probe, they successfully completed a series of aerial refueling test which included a five-minute hookup with a marine corps KD-130F Hercules aircraft. This demonstrated for the first time in aviation history the feasibility of refueling a helicopter in flight using conventional probe and drogue system.
Excerpted from the book “PJ’s in Vietnam”The Birth of Air Refueling
Harry and I went to Texas from Florida together to fly B25s. Shortly into our first flight with the instructor on board we soon realized that our landing gear would not go down. After talking the people on the ground and other maintenance people it was decided that the hydraulics needed to be cut. As the co-pilot, or because no one else would do it I was sent down into the tunnel to cut the hydraulics with a fire ax!!! I had to cut a hole in the body of the aircraft and use a hack saw to cut the line. As I was down there doing this Harry was trying to get the gear down and land the plane while bouncing it off the ground. We did this for about 4 hours until we got the gear down and were able to land the plane. While in the tunnel I cut my wrist but also cut off my watch in the process. It was Harry’s great idea for me to put in for re-imbursement for my watch and so I did!
Posted by Donald Berger, Thursday November 15, 2012 at 7:12 pm
First Night Solo
Our first night solo in San Angelo TX flying the B25. The instructor, who was just as young as us took us for our instruction for a total of about 10 minutes. So Harry and I are on our way, he the pilot and me the co-pilot. Harry pulls the nose up to get airborne. I look to my right to see Harry and his seat sliding back. He continued to slide back until the seat fell off the bulkhead. He got up off the seat found a clipboard and was able to fix the seat and jam the clipboard in between the latch so that it would stay. We finished our flight safely never said a word o anyone until the time was right. A great story that we were able to laugh about for years.
Posted by Donald Berger, Thursday November 15, 2012 at 6:54 pm
~ GUEST BOOK ~
December 16, 2012“When you lose someone you love,you gain an angel you know”
Uncle Harry you will be missed.~Julie (Kawarsky) Casto
November 27, 2012Uncle Harry will be greatly miss. It has been awhile since I saw him, that was at my Mom’s funeral in November 2005 and he gave me a big hug and said Polly would always in his heart. Love and Prayers Phyllis Kawarsky Patton.~Phyllis Patton, Camdenton, Missouri
November 20, 2012In 1965, Colonel Dunn, who at the time was a Major, was instrumental in the development and testing of the helicopter in-flight refueling concept. He had spent his entire Air Force career flying helicopters and he believed it was possible to air refuel a Sikorsky H-3 helicopter from a C-130 tanker aircraft. He convinced Air Rescue Service headquarters to authorize him to test the concept using a jerry-rigged dummy refueling probe. His concept was proven on December 15, 1965 when a USAF H-3 helicopter linked up with the refueling probe of a USMC KC-130 tanker aircraft. His idea and his persistence in proving that it would work resulted in one of the most important developments in the history of military helicopter operations. His idea has had a direct result of the saving of thousands of lives. May God rest his soul and comfort and protect his family.~Jim Burns, SMSgt USAF (retired) USAF RotorHeads www.rotorheadsrus.us, Navarre, Florida
November 20, 2012We will miss you Harry. Through Chris, ultimately as a daughter-in-law, I knew you for 21 years and recall fondly your stories (politics, Ireland, family), your pipe, your many gadgets and gizmos, the time you flew me over the Shenandoah Mountains in your plane, Bryce Mountain, the Studebakers, crabs, the lake, golf, letting our children “drive” your boat, and more. Rest in the sleep of God’s peace Harry.~Alexandra Dunn, Potomac Falls, Virginia
November 19, 2012Michelle and family, I am so very sorry for your loss. I still vividly remember the fun days on Hope Drive when our parents would get together. I am happy to say that they are among the fondest memories I have of those days! Please know I am thinking of all of you during this difficult time.~Donna McConchie Kenney, Riverview, Florida
November 19, 2012Condolences from Locust Grove neighbors.~Janet & Charlie Bocook
November 19, 2012We so enjoyed Uncle Harry’s visit to our home with my Mother (Judy) & Eileen. His laughter and stories will never be forgotten! (Nor his big Continental traveling rapidly through the streets of Des Moines!) Your Father was a treasure and his Irish spirit strong! Deepest sympathy.~Susan Vujnovich & John McRoberts
November 19, 2012May he rest in peace.~
November 18, 2012Mike and Mary, So sorry for your loss. I know in our conversations mike that you had utmost respect for your parents.May your Dad rest in peace.~Ingrid Ruschak
November 18, 2012May God bless you all at this difficult time and give you peace. Speaking as the daughter of another USAF Colonel, I know Colonel Dunn’s legacy lives on. My prayers and condolences are with you.~Mollie King, Owings, Maryland
November 18, 2012You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Harry was a great man.~Carol Schiltz, Strykersville, New York
November 18, 2012Blessings to the Dunn’s from the Harrington’s of Our Lady of Hope.~
November 18, 2012Our thoughts and prayers are with you! The Kemps~Lori Kemp, Ashburn, Virginia
November 18, 2012My condolences to the Dunn family – you are in our prayers during this difficult time.~Robert Sabatini, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
November 18, 2012May God bless you all and may your dad look down from heaven and smile at his descendants. We have known your mom & da since 1958, being stationed with them in France and have really enjoyed their friendship and ever eager to help us both as newlyweds and neighbors in Florida. Sorry we could not attend the services but I did remember to drink a beer toast to a great friend.~John & Anja Heller
November 16, 2012To the Dunn family, I’m so sorry for the loss of your dad BIG PAPA Dunn! He was truly a great man, a father and grandfather, husband, friend and huge father figure to me. I will always remember him with his gruff exterior but warm playful heart and his practical jokes on me. He will be sorely missed.~Carlton Ray
November 16, 2012Condolence: Rene and family – I am so sorry for the loss of your dad. I know how difficult this time is. Remember all the wonderful memories you have with him and know he always lives on with you.~Gwynn
November 16, 2012Michele, Mike, and Chris: I never got to meet your dad, but knowing the 3 of you, he must have been a great man! God Bless all of you during this time. I will keep you all in my prayers! Cindy~Cindy Famoso
November 15, 2012Michele, my thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time. Many Prayers and Much Love, Les~Leslie Laughter Ellmore