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Lt. Col. Allen Bennett, Jr., USAF (Ret.)
Allen Bennett, Jr., 88, passed away Friday, November 8, 2019 in Abilene, Texas.
The family will receive friends at a visitation from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Thursday, November 14, at The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road, Abilene. A committal service with full military honors will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, November 15, at Texas State Veterans Cemetery at Abilene, 7457 W. Lake Road. James Greer and Wes Lane will officiate.
The son of Hollis Marilyn (Smith) and Allen Elsworth Bennett, Allen (Sonny) was born on July 31, 1931 in Saint Mary’s, West Virginia. Allen became a Texan at the age of 4 when his family moved from West Virginia. In 1948 at age 16, he graduated from Moran High School (TX) and attended Tarleton College 1949-1950. Allen served at that time in the U.S. Army R.O.T.C. and was a Founding Charter Member of Wainwright Rifle Corp. He graduated from Texas Tech University from the U.S.A.F. ROTC, and has remained a devoted Texas Tech Red Raider supporter, living to “strive for honor ever more.” His first solo flight was on December 17th, the 50 anniversary of the Wright brothers’ first flight. He was commissioned 2nd Lt. in the U.S.A.F. in 1953. After completing pilot training, his wings were pinned in November 1954 by his wife, Mona Gayle (Trice) Bennett, whom he had married on December 28, 1952 in Sparenberg, Texas. He and Mona met at Texas Tech after her dorm burned and she had to eat dinner in his dorm dining hall. He served one Tour of Duty (Sept 1969–Sept 1970) in Vietnam.
He was then transferred to Dyess A.F.B., Abilene in 1970. He was designated Command Pilot, and commanded the 96th and 317th Squadrons before retiring. He was an honored recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross, and has logged well over 30,000 hours flying time in everything including WWII tail-draggers, his beloved C-47 Gooney Bird (Spooky) and his KC-135 Supertanker.
After retirement as Lt. Col. from the Air Force in 1975, Allen was a convenience store inspector for Western Marketing. As soon as possible, he went back into flying. He became the co-owner/operator of Elmdale Flight School with his long-time friend and partner Bill Masters. He was a flight instructor and formation flight coordinator for The Formation Flight Group.
He was a member of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Abilene.
In addition to his parents, Allen was preceded in death by two brothers, Tommy Bennett and Alden Bennett.
Allen is survived by his wife, Mona Bennett of Abilene; three daughters, Donna Gregory and Sandy Lane of Abilene, and Sharon Bennett of Austin; four grandchildren, Danielle Starr of Abilene, Jamie Maupin of San Antonio, Wes Lane of Little Rock, Arkansas, and Travis Lane of Cedar Park, Texas; and ten great-grandchildren.
Pallbearers will be the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard. Honorary pallbearers will be our Saturday Formation Flight Family, and Col. Alex Korzenewski, U.S. Army (Ret.).
The family welcomes either flowers or memorials made to the Combat Veterans Association or the Parkinson’s Foundation.
Thursday, November 14, 2019
6:00 - 8:00pm (Central time)
The Hamil Family Funeral Home
Friday, November 15, 2019
Starts at 2:00pm (Central time)
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