- August 15, 1921 - May 15, 2012
- Adel, Georgia
of Donald's Passing
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Boone Funeral Home
Memories & CandlesPrevious
“Just thinking about you, Don...
...great memories, great example; give Frances our best, too.
1 of 20 | Posted by: John Mollison - Sioux Falls, SD
“As Photography Archivist for the 352nd FG Association , had the privilege of living through pictures the maturation of Don during his Air Force...Read More »
2 of 20 | Posted by: Sam Sox, Jr - Myrtle Beach, SC
“Today I was fortunate enough to meet with Bud' Anderson in the United Kingdom. Meeting Bud' again prompted me to ask someone about Don as well as...Read More »
3 of 20 | Posted by: Terry Buck - United Kingdom
“I only knew Don through searching for genealogy information on my second cousin, Major Earl Abbott. Don took over command of the 328th after Earl...Read More »
4 of 20 | Posted by: Diane Heathcote - Greenville, PA
“I know Bush will be happily reunited with Frances - but we sure will miss him here on Earth! He was always a fixture to me at Christ Church's 11:30...Read More »
5 of 20 | Posted by: Beth Curtis - Decatur, GA
“I was alerted to this by a friend from Georgia, i live in Scotland, UK. My deepest sympathy to the family. But know that many of us in United Kingdom...Read More »
6 of 20 | Posted by: Benny Bough
“What can I say about a man who has been our friend for over 40 years. We met Bush & Frances at our church in North Syracuse, NY and our friendship...Read More »
7 of 20 | Posted by: Jan & Ron Sager - Cicero, NY
“I will miss Bush coming into the bank and telling his great stories! He was so full of life and I always enjoyed waiting on him. I'm sure he is happy...Read More »
8 of 20 | Posted by: Jeanie Hood - Sparks, GA - Friend
“Im so sorry you didnt get to fly to NZ Unk Bush, I guess you are flying high with your Mama and she is showing you her birth country now.
To the...Read More »
9 of 20 | Posted by: Gail Birdsall - cousin
“Uncle Bush was very special to me as was Aunt Frances whom I was named for. When we lost her was a sad day and now, Uncle Bush. Hard to lose those...Read More »
10 of 20 | Posted by: Genevieve Beggs - niece
“The last time I saw Bush was on Easter Sunday at church. I can never look at the pew he sat in without seeing him there or see a tootise roll...Read More »
11 of 20 | Posted by: Nancy Lutsko - Valdosta, GA
“I trust "Bush" and my Dad, Robert W. "Bobby" Dodd, are once again cruising the skies together. They were both 352nd F.G. and 328th F.S. "Blue Noses...Read More »
12 of 20 | Posted by: Donna Dodd Terrell Jones - KY
“Got to meet up with Col Bryan at Fanatasy of Flight a few years back at the Symposium. Asked for him to autgraph my book. When he noticed it was the...Read More »
13 of 20 | Posted by: Jim Collins
“I did not have the opportunity or the privilege to know "Bush" personally: I only knew him through an interview he gave as part of a program found...Read More »
14 of 20 | Posted by: Roman de Caesar - Marietta, GA
“To the Bryan Family: We are so sorry to hear of the passing of Bush. Bush and Frances became close and dear friends through their time at Christ...Read More »
15 of 20 | Posted by: James Guthrie - Springfield, VA
“Though I never got the chance to meet you, it does not mean I do not feel the sorrow of your passing. I am greatful for your service in the conquest...Read More »
16 of 20 | Posted by: Koczar Koenig
“I did not know the Colonel personally. My sympathy and condolences go out to all of his family. Fly high Colonel Bryan.
17 of 20 | Posted by: Larry Baker - Columbus, OH
“It was always such a pleasure to spend time with Don. He came with Jan a couple of years ago and spent a couple hours just chatting. He was a giant...Read More »
18 of 20 | Posted by: Jim Baker - WILLIAMSTOWN, NY
“Several years ago, I was with Don in Seattle where he was being interviewed by the DogFight crew for the Death of the Luftwaffe episode. Afterwards,...Read More »
19 of 20 | Posted by: Donald M Hickey - Lake Villa, IL
“Lt. Colonel Bryan was one of a kind. I had the pleasure of taking him back to England last November and arranging for his final visit to Bodney,...Read More »
20 of 20 | Posted by: Mark Copeland - Lakeville, MN
Lieutenant Colonel Donald S. "Bush" Bryan, United States Air Force (ret.), 90, of Adel, died Tuesday May 15, 2012 at Memorial Convalescent Center in Adel.
Lt. Col. Bryan was born August 15, 1921 in Hollister, California to the late Ellis E. and Ethel Birdsall Bryan. He joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943 as a fighter pilot and flew combat missions during World War II with the 328th Fighter Squadron of the 352nd Fighter Group which was part of the Eighth Army Air Force, or "Mighty Eighth" as it is better known. It was with this squadron that he flew 138 combat missions, became credited with officially shooting down 13.3 enemy aircraft, and attained the recognition of being a "Double Ace" for his combat prowess in the planes which he piloted. The first plane he flew in combat was a P-47D-2, which was named "Little One" for his girlfriend at the time, Frances Norman. After marrying Frances, he flew a P-51 Mustang named "Little One III" ( a replica of which stands on display at the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum), which he used to take down five enemy aircraft in one dogfight.
Lt. Col. Bryan served 23 years with the Air Force, receiving the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters, and the Air Medal with 14 oak leaf clusters. During his combat missions he never lost a wingman and even led the search to find a fellow pilot in the freezing waters of the North Sea, which proved to be successful and the pilot was safely rescued.
He was an avid hunter and trout fisherman, and a Boy Scout leader in the 1960's. After retirement from the Air Force, he was employed by O'Brien and Geer (an engineering firm in Syracuse, NY) where he worked on reservoir and water link projects. This job led him to take up SCUBA diving so that he could better perform his work duties. In 1981, he and Frances moved to Adel where he designed and built their home. While in Adel he has been a volunteer with the American Red Cross Blood Bank and also a Red Coat with Memorial Hospital of Adel. He was a member of Christ Episcopal Church in Valdosta and a member of The Order of Daedalians, which is an organization for military pilots. He will be remembered for distinguished military career, his quick wit, funny jokes, a "tell it like it is" attitude, and his constant endeavor to help his fellow man.
Lt. Col. Bryan is survived by his four sons and daughters-in-law, Donald C. Bryan of Euless, TX, Mackay L. and Jan Bryan of Rutherfordton, N.C., John B. and Chris Bryan of Huntington, VT, and Kevin N. and Rosa Bryan of Naples, FL; eleven grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and one brother and sister-in-law, Bowden and Jean Bryan of Oregon. He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Frances Bryan; five brothers, Ralph Mackay, Loren, Rex and Monte Bryan; and a sister, Mona Coffman.
A memorial service for Lt. Col. Bryan will be held Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 2:00 pm at Christ Episcopal Church in Valdosta with Rev. Peter Ingeman officiating. Entombment will follow at the columbarium in the garden of the church. The family will receive friends Friday evening, May 25, 2012 from 7-9 pm at Boone Funeral Home, 1804 S. Hutchinson Ave. (U.S. Hwy 41 South) in Adel.