VERSAILLES - James C. Condon, 79, of Versailles, passed away on May 30, 2013, at 1:27 a.m. at Miami Valley Hospital.
He was born April 8, 1934, in Dayton, to the late Russell E. and Clara (Stocker) Condon. He was raised in West Milton, and moved to Versailles, in 1945. Upon graduation from Parker Vocational High School in Dayton, in 1952, he worked at the Frigidaire Division of GM and joined the Ohio Air National Guard.
He joined the United States Air Force in October 1954 and entered the Aviation Cadet Program at Ellington AFB in Houston, Texas. Upon graduation in December 1955, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and received his Navigator/Bombadier Wings. During his career, he flew B-47 and B-52 bombers amassing 6,000 flying hours. He flew 126 combat missions during the Vietnam War. He was shot down over Hanoi, North Vietnam on Dec. 28, 1972, was captured and spent 91 days as a POW. From 1973 to 1978 he attended Air War College in Alabama and served on the staff of 15th Air Force in California. After his retirement in 1978, he and his family moved to Versailles.
During his combined 26 years of service he received many awards including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, POW Medal and the Air Medal w/5 Oak Leaf Clusters.
He along with his wife owned and operated The House of Flowers in Versailles, for 19 years. During this time he was very active in the community. He served a term on village council, was on the board of the Versailles Development Association, was on the Poultry Days Committee serving as chairman in 1983 and was one of the founders and served on the board of Heritage Park. He was a member of St. Denis Catholic Church, a member of the Versailles Lions Club, the Versailles Area Historical Society, a Golden Eagle Member of the Versailles Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 2347, the Versailles Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals, a member of the Darke County Disabled American Veterans and a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
He was preceded in death by his parents, stepmother Rita Condon, sister Maria and grandson Nathan Condon.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Jenny (Siefring) Condon; children and spouses, Brian and Barb Condon, Krista and Charlie Krueger, Mary Beth and Dave Berger and Kelly and Brian Trump, all of Versailles; 18 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and brothers and sister, Fred and Roberta Condon, Dick and Angie Condon, Bob and Becky Condon and Marcia and Chuck Meiring, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, June 3, 2013, at St. Denis Catholic Church in Versailles with the Rev. David Vincent as celebrant. Burial will follow in St. Valbert Cemetery in Versailles with military graveside services conducted by the Versailles Veterans Honor Guard.
The family will receive friends on Sunday from 2 to 7 p.m. and Monday morning from 9 to 10 a.m. at Bailey Zechar Funeral Home in Versailles.
Memorial contributions may be made to Wounded Warrior Project, Versailles Vet's Club or Versailles Emergency Medical Services.
JAMES C. CONDON
Major - United States Air Force
Shot Down: December 27, 1972
Released: March 29, 1973
Major James C. Condon was born on 8 April 1934 in Dayton, Ohio.
He graduated in 1952 from Parker Vocational High School in Dayton. He
entered active duty with the USAF in October 1954 and was commissioned a
Second Lieutenant Navigator through the Aviation Cadet program at Ellington
AFB Texas in December 1955. Major Condon has four children - James,
Krista, Mary Beth and Kelly.
The Major's entire military career has been with the Strategic Air Command
where he has accumulated over 6000 hours in the B-47 and B-52 aircraft. He
has served three tours in Southeast Asia and has over 120 combat missions.
Other assignments include tours in Louisiana Georgia Michigan and
Major Condon was shot down the night of 27 December 1972 while participating
in a B-52 strike over North Vietnam. He was released 29 March 1973. He plans
to remain in the Strategic Air Command until his retirement.
James Condon retired from the United States Air Force as a Lt. Colonel in
1978. He and his wife Jenny reside in Ohio. They now have 13 grandchildren.
Both are enjoying retirement.