BIOGRAPHY

COLONEL EDWARD M. MCDONALD, USAF

  Colonel McDonald was born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania in 1922.  He attended primary and secondary school in that city graduating from high school in 1940.

  In 1940 Colonel McDonald played minor league baseball while working for the United States Federal Reserve Bank.  In the fall of 1941 he was invited to the Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training Camp in Florida.  Events would prevent him from reporting to Spring Training.

  Following the dastardly attach on U.S. Forces in the Pacific by the Empire of Japan, on 7 DEC 41, Colonel McDonald applied for and was accepted into the U.S. Army Air Corps Aviation Cadet program, reporting for duty in early 1942.  While in the Cadet Program, assignments included Kelly Field at San Antonio, Texas and Columbus Air Field in Columbus Mississippi.

 

Left: Col McDonald points to a hole in his cap, made by flak on a mission to Keil

Upon graduation from Aviation Cadets, Colonel McDonald trained in the B24 Heavy bomber, being assigned to the 8th Air Force in late 1943.  While in England, he was aircraft commander in the 2nd Bomb Wing (H) assigned to the 446th Bomb Group (H) at Bungay.

  After completing his tour with the 446th he briefly flew P47 fighters before being returned to the CONUS where he was assigned duty as a flight instructor.

  In 1945, as a fight instructor, Colonel McDonald was assigned to Lodwick Air Field in Lakeland Florida.  While in Florida, he met Margaret M. McCormick who he married while in Lakeland. 

  June 1945 brought an assignment to Great Falls Montana, where Colonel McDonald flew C47 transports. 

  Upon the end of the war, Colonel McDonald returned to Florida and civilian life, while staying in the reserves.  While in Florida, Colonel McDonald was in the lumber business.

  When the Korean War started, Colonel McDonald was recalled to active service, being assigned as Aircraft Commander in B29 Heavy Bombers of the 305th Bomb Wing (H) at MacDill AFB Florida. 

  In 1951, the Air Force was planning for the arrival of the new Boeing B47 jet bombers.  To support that aircraft, the Air Force also acquired Boeing KC97 air refueling aircraft.  That year Colonel McDonald transitioned to KC97s and was subsequently assigned to the 306 Air Refueling Sq.  Also at Mac Dill AFB Florida.

  1955 brought a transfer to James Conelly AFB in Waco Texas, where Colonel McDonald spent six months transitioning to the B47s.  At the same time Colonel McDonald was promoted to Major.

  Completing B47 training, Colonel McDonald reported to the 68 Bomb Wing at Lake Charles AFB (later Chennault AFB) at Lake Charles Louisiana.  In the 656th Bomb Sq. Colonel McDonald as Chief of Standardization and later as Operations Officer.

  In 1962, the B47 program was drawing to a close, and Chennault AFB was selected to be deactivated.  Colonel McDonald was transferred to Headquarters 2nd Air Force at Barksdale AFB in Bossier City Louisiana, where he served in the Training Branch, and later in the Directorate of Operations.  The move to Barksdale also brought promotion to Lieutenant Colonel.

  By the late 1960s the Viet Nam War was growing in intensity.  In 1969 Colonel McDonald was assigned to Andersen AFB in Guam, serving in several positions including Deputy Base Commander.  While in Guam Colonel McDonald was promoted to Colonel.

  In 1971, Colonel McDonald was assigned to Plattsburg AFB, New York as Base Commander, where the new FB111 was being placed in service. 

  1973 brought an assignment to Izmir Turkey, where Colonel McDonald served as Commander of TUSLOG 118.

  In mid 1975, Colonel McDonald was transferred to Offutt AFB Nebraska, where he served as Director of Information Systems.

Colonel McDonald retired from active duty in 1978.

Upon retirement, Colonel McDonald accepted a position as Director of the Criminal Intercept Program in the Office of the States Attorney in Polk County Florida.  He retired a second time from the position of Executive Director in 1997.

Colonel McDonald died in October 1998.  He is survived by his wife, Margaret McDonald, and son Charles McDonald.

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