Donald F. Herndon died peacefully at his home on Sunday, March 7, 2021. He was born January 14, 1926 to Lillian and Floyd Herndon in Washington D.C. Survived by his wife, Joan, daughters Elizabeth Raymond (Doug) of Elmore City, OK, Cary Wolfard (Steve) of Oklahoma City, Jennie Patterson (Terry) of Norman, OK, and James Alexander Herndon (Amy) of Rockville, MD. Also by 5 grandchildren, Nicholas Raymond, Andrew and Scott Wolfard, Matthew and Dorothy Herndon, and great grandson, Josh Raymond.
Donald was a proud veteran of the United States Army, having started his career at age 17 by being accepted for the Army Specialized Training Program at Virginia Military Institute. After which he was sent to Ft. Bragg, NC for basic training, graduating as a 2nd Lieutenant in December, 1944, and immediately departed to Europe with the 106th Infantry Division, L Company, 424th Division, as reinforcement for the Battle of the Bulge, Germany’s last big offensive of WWII. The 106th was then tasked with establishing a prisoner of war camp to care for prisoners of war and displaced persons. He separated from the army in May of 1946 as a 1st Lieutenant. Donald again enlisted during the Korean War and served as Company Commander with the 27th Engineer Combat Battalion at Ft. Campbell, KY.
Donald achieved both a civil and mechanical engineering degree, and later a Juris Prudence Degree from the University of Maryland. He worked as an aeronautical engineer for Glenn L. Martin Co. (1953-1958) and Civil Aeronautics Board (1958-1960), which later became the Federal Aeronautics Administration. He finished his career as Chief, Engineering and Manufacturing Branch, FAA Aeronautical Center, Oklahoma City, OK (1965-1980). He enjoyed many hobbies after retirement and was active in the 106th army reunions, and was honored in 2016 to receive the Golden Lion Award from the 106th Infantry Division Association for Outstanding Service.
A memorial service will be held for Donald at Arlington National Cemetery, where his ashes will be interred.