Burns, Donald Ray, Col

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1966-1973, POW North Vietnam
Service Years
1951 - 1977
Officer Collar Insignia

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt Robert Bruce McClelland, Jr. to remember Burns, Donald Ray, Col USAF(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Mineral Wells, Texas
Last Address
Williamsburg, Virginia

Date of Passing
Apr 26, 1996
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section 8 Site 8303

 Official Badges 

Combat Crew Air Force Retired

 Unofficial Badges 

Cold War Medal

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
  1973, Nam-POWS

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on March 24, 1951, and served in TX, FL, NY, Japan, GA, SC, England, France, NM, Vietnam, AL, and VA before his retirement from the Air Force on May 1, 1977.
He spent 2,285 days as a POW in North Vietnam. 

His Silver Star citation:

Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 8, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Colonel Donald Ray Burns (AFSN: FR-44702), United States Air Force, for gallantry and intrepidity in action in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force during December 1966, while a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam. Ignoring international agreements on treatment of prisoners of war, the enemy resorted to mental and physical cruelties to obtain information, confessions and propaganda materials. Colonel Burns resisted their demands by calling upon his deepest inner strengths in a manner which reflected his devotion to duty and great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: Dec-66

Service: Air Force

Rank: Colonel

Division: Prisoner of War (North Vietnam)

Other Comments:




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 1962-1965, F-84 Thunderjet
From Year
To Year
Personal Memories
Not Specified
 F-84 Thunderjet Details

Aircraft/Missile Information
Model Republic F-84F Thunderjet
Length 37.43 ft | 11.41 m
Width 36.42 ft | 11.10 m
Height 14.99 ft | 4.57 m
Engine(s) 1 x Wright J65-W-3 turbojet engine generating 7,220lbs of thrust.
Empty Weight 13,830 lbs | 6,273 kg
MTOW 28,001 lbs | 12,701 kg
Max Speed 695 mph | 1,118 km/h | 604 kts
Max Range 860 miles | 1,384 km
Ceiling 45,997 ft | 14,020 m | 8.7 miles
Climb Rate 7,400 ft/min (2,257 m/min)
Hardpoints 2
Armament 6 x 12.7mm machine guns
24 x 5in rockets

Up to 6,000lbs of external ordnance.
Accommodations 1

Major Variants

* XP-84 Thunderjet - First prototype model (1946); General Electric J35-GE-7 turbojet engine.
* XP-8A Thunderjet - Prototype (25 total); Allison J35-A-15
* P-84B Thunderjet - XP-8A porduction model.
* P-84C Thunderjet - Revised electrical system; J35-A-13C engine; Later redesignated as the F-84C.
* F-84 Thunderjet
* YF-84A Thunderjet - First swept-wing variant
* F-84D Thunderjet - J35-A-17D engine; Re-engineered landing gear system; thicker wing systems.
* F-84E Thunderjet - Post-Korean War model featuring improved system components; Enlarged cockpit; Lengthened fuselage.
* F-84G Thunderjet - J35-A-29 engine
* F-84F Thunderstreak - Swept wing; Wright J65-W-1 turbojet engine (later models with Wright J65-W-3 engines).
* RF-84F Thunderflash - Final development model of F-84 series; Reconnaissance variant with J65-W-7 engine.

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Last Updated: Oct 31, 2012
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  63 Also There at This Aircraft:
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  • Beldin, Bernie, Maj, (1960-1992)
  • Booker, Merrel, Sgt, (1963-1968)
  • Cawein, John, MSgt, (1961-1987)
  • Coe, Robert, (1962-1966)
  • Davis, Peter, A1C, (1962-1966)
  • Dubuc, Norman, TSgt, (1955-1978)
  • Gaunt, (Henry) Mark, TSgt, (1958-1998)
  • Geiman, John, MSgt, (1962-1999)
  • Hallmark, Jim, A1C, (1963-1967)
  • Harbaugh, Paul, A1C, (1959-1963)
  • Harp, Donald, SMSgt, (1961-1985)
  • Hutchinson, Charles, MSgt, (1961-1981)
  • Johnson, Donald, TSgt, (1953-1957)
  • Kennelly, John, 1st Lt, (1951-1956)
  • Klaudi, Leopold, A1C, (1959-1966)
  • Knighton, Donald L, Capt, (1953-1959)
  • Kulp, Clark, A1C, (1961-1966)
  • Larsen, Glen, Sgt, (1962-1967)
  • Mayo, Bob, SMSgt, (1954-1981)
  • Porter, William, Maj, (1957-1969)
  • Reed, James, Lt Col, (1952-1973)
  • Reid, John, SSgt, (1955-1963)
  • Ritenour, Dick, MSgt, (1957-1979)
  • Robinson, James, MSgt, (1954-1974)
  • Ross, Jesse, TSgt, (1961-1972)
  • Schuck, Robert, TSgt, (1953-1966)
  • Seibert, Herman, Sgt, (1962-1966)
  • Shepherd, Jon, A1C, (1963-1967)
  • Shield, John, MSgt, (1960-1981)
  • Stone, Robert, Maj, (1951-1966)
  • Warner, Dareld, CMSgt, (1958-1980)
  • Williams, Robert, A1C, (1961-1965)
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