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U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Daniel E. Riley Jr., Major General, USAF (Retired)August 18, 1915 – October 12, 2010
CAMDEN – Daniel E. Riley, Jr., Major General, USAF, Ret., 95, died Tuesday, October 12, 2010, at Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport following a brief illness.
Born in Flint, Michigan, August 18, 1915, he was the son of Daniel E., Sr. and Elva Kirby Riley. Educated in local schools, he was a 1933 graduate of Flint Central High School, and graduated from Flint Junior College in 1936. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Infantry Reserve in 1936, and transferred to the Army Air Corps Reserve in 1941, shortly after graduating from the University of Detroit, having earned a BS in Aeronautical Engineering.
While attending junior college in Flint, he met his future wife, Margaret Marengo. The couple married at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City in 1939.
On active duty prior to World War II, Mr. Riley served at Wright Field, Ohio as an aircraft production engineering officer until January of 1947. In this capacity, he pioneered development and production of military helicopters. At one point during that period he was dispatched to the South Pacific where he assisted in development of Air – Sea Rescue with those developing helicopters.
From November of 1947 until January of 1949, he was assigned as Assistant Chief of the Special Aircraft and Missiles Branch at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
In 1949, he began studies at the University of Michigan under the Air Force Institute of Technology Program, and in 1951 completed a master’s degree in business administration.
That same year, he moved with his family to Rhein/Main Air Base in Germany, having been assigned as chief of plans and operations for the 7290th Procurement Squadron there. In 1952 he became deputy, and later chief of the Procurement and Production Division at Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe and also commander of the 7290th Procurement Squadron.
Returning with his family to the United States, in 1954 he was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force with the Directorate of Procurement and Production, Deputy Chief of Staff, Materiel. In August of 1958, he entered the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, in Washington, D.C. During this period, the Riley family lived in Alexandria, Virginia, where Mr. Riley built a home.
In July of 1959, he returned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and was assigned to the Air Research and Development Command as Program Director for the MACE missile. In November 1959 he became the program director of the 465L Strategic Air Command Control Systems. Seven months later, he was transferred with the 465L Systems Office to L.G. Hanscom Field in Bedford, Massachusetts, as part of the Electronics Systems Division of the Air Force Systems Command. From 1961 to 1964 he served as assistant deputy for systems management as ESD, in 1964 became the deputy for command systems management, and in July 1965 was appointed vice commander of the Electronics Systems Division. In October 1965 General Riley assumed command of the Air Force System’s Command’s Air Force Contract Management Division at Los Angeles Air Force Station, California. During his service there, he received promotion to Major General. Later in 1969 he became the assistant director of plans, programs, and systems for the Defense Supply Agency at Cameron Station, Alexandria, Virginia. Before retiring in 1970, General Riley again served in Washington, D.C.
Throughout his career, General Riley’s military decorations include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters and the Army Commendation Medal.
In retirement, he moved with his wife to Ormond Beach, Florida, where they resided more than 30 years.
The Riley’s built a home in Jackson, New Hampshire, where they enjoyed skiing. Throughout his military career, Mr. and Mrs. Riley enjoyed traveling and seeing the sights throughout the world. They continued traveling, even in retirement, and enjoyed cruises to various destinations including Alaska, Panama and the Danube River.
Following Mrs. Riley’s death November 29, 2005, Mr. Riley moved to Anderson Inn at Quarry Hill in Camden.
Other than his wife, Mr. Riley was pre-deceased by one daughter, Patricia Ann Riley. He is survived by two sons, Dennis M. Riley and his wife Deborah of Surry, Maine, Daniel R. Riley and his wife Renae of Vining, Minnesota; five grandchildren, Dennis M. Riley, Jr., Daniel Everett Riley, Tristan Lewis Riley, Kelan Patrick Riley and Devon Edward Riley.
A private graveside service with Military Honors will be held at Mount Hope Cemetery, in Port Huron, Michigan, in November.
Local arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland.
~ GUEST BOOK ~
From: Melissa Lamont • Rockport, OHMr. Riley, I will so miss your strength, dignity, and most handsome smile. You had an incredibly deep and full heart. Thank you for sharing it with me, and for sharing most precious memories of your daughter and loving wife. Your life was a gift to those around you. Through these tears and sadness, the thought of you makes me smile. With love, and warmest thoughts of sympathies to your boys and their families, Rest in Peace Dear Man. You have earned it.Wednesday November 30, -0001
From: Eileen Hebert • Rockport, MaineI will miss our visits, dear friend. I am blessed to have known you.Wednesday November 30, -0001
From: Jerry Blair • Rockport, MaineDan, you will truly be missed. I enjoyed out chats about the places we have been stationed. I thank you for always asking about my family, you always seemed to care. Everyone at Quarry Hill will also missed you terribly. My prayers go out to the family. God BlessWednesday November 30, 0001
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