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U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Donald Arthur Woten, Major, USAF (Retired)January 07, 1930 – July 05, 2013
Major Donald Woten, USAF, Retired, was born on January 07, 1930, in Eldon, Missouri. He was the son of Art and Nita Woten.
The family moved to Herington, Kansas when dad was a young boy. He graduated from Herrington High School and attended the Wichita University from 1949 to 1952. His education was interrupted by the Korean War but was years later resumed and completed at the University of Southwest Texas State with a Bachelors Degree. He joined the military in 1952 for patriotic reasons. He received his USAF Pilot Wings and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1953. With the end of the Korean War in 1953 he was based out of the Gary AFB in San Marcos, Texas and for the next five years served as an Instructor Pilot.
There he married Dianne Armenda Black and had two children, Cindy Rayn and Chawn Wesley. They remained married for over 25 years.
In 1959 to 1964 he was assigned to the Strategic Air Command at McConnell AFB in Wichita, Kansas. There he began his training as a Nuclear Weapons Officer and pilot in the six engine jet bomber, the B-47 at McConnell AFB in Wichita, Kansas. 1964 to 1967 the now Captain Donald Woten, was assigned to Carswell AFB in Fort Worth, Texas and became a part of the Strategic Air Command. SAC was, at the time, the United States Air Force major command for the United States land-based strategic bomber aircraft, land-based intercontinental ballistic missile and strategic nuclear arsenal. In 1967 he received orders for a tour of duty in Vietnam. In Vietnam, he served as Command pilot and operations Officer with the Air Commando Squadron at Bien Hoa AFB in Vietnam. During his year in Vietnam, he flew 320 combat missions for a total of 760 combat hours. While in Vietnam he was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received while in Vietnam, one our country’s oldest decorations and designed by General George Washington in 1782, and the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Vietnamese Cross for for Gallantry and seven Air Medals.
Returning home from Vietnam in 1968, he was transferred to Wheeler AFB and the then “Kunia Tunnel” intelligence facility in Oahu, Hawaii, as a Major and as a Nuclear Safety Officer for Admiral John McCain, Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific. He continued to earn over 17 metals, logged over 5000 hours of flying time, which well exceeded the required 3000 hours for his Command Pilot Wings. He flew Jets, props, bombers, fighters, helicopters and many more for a total of 23 different aircrafts and proudly stated he “never put a scratch on any of Uncle Sam’s planes”. He was “Honorably Discharged” from the Air Force in 1972 and remained a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Military Order of the Purple Heart and Disabled Veterans.
Don moved to San Antonio forty years ago following his retirement. Many years later he married Nell Woten and they resided in Live Oak, Texas for sixteen years. Her passing was of great sadness to him. Dad returned home from the hospital on July the 3rd and died peacefully in his bed on the 5th of July.
Survived or preceded by:Daughter:Cynthia Black Jorrie and her husband Robert JorrieGrandson:Michael Grobowsky, his wife Dana Washington and daughter Olivia Rayn GrobowskyGranddaughters:Jamie Chandler, and children Caden Favors and William WarrenMegan Duncan, her husband Greg Duncan and children Taylor and Blake DuncanSon:Chawn Wesley Woten and his wife Jo WotenGrandsons:Gene Woten, his wife Robin Woten and children Holly Hazlett, and Bryan WotenCasey Woten, his wife Ashley Woten (Deceased) and son Zachary WotenSargent Mathew Woten, his wife Beth and children Eli and Melanie Woten
A Visitation will be held on Thursday, July 11, 2013 from 6:00-8:00 P.M. at Colonial Funeral Home. Graveside service and interment will be held on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 10:00 A.M. at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery with full military honors.
Please sign the guestbook at www.colonialuniversal.com Published in Express-News on July 11, 2013
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