|Birth: ||Sep. 12, 1922, USA|
|Death: ||Aug. 5, 1993|
Dale Clifton Gillespie is the son of Archie Roy Gillespie and Edna Paulene Harris. He was born in Rankin Oklahoma. He was one of seven (7) children with three brothers and three sisters. He married Maudie A Coffee in 1943 just before he shipped out to the Pacific during WWII to proudly defend his country.
Dale was in the battle of Tarawa and several other battles in the Atol islands. During a mortar shelling of Tarawa he was buried alive with 2 other soldiers who died in the attack. He was offered the purple heart but refused because he was not injured physically. Dale was trained as an aviation machinist mate initially. He never saw an engine he could not fix. While serving in the Pacific he and his team received a commendation for turning around a record number of damaged bombers and getting them air born to fight again. After the war Dale signed on to stay in the Navy for the next 18 years.
Dale Gillespie's daughter submitted his and his brothers Leonard and Delmer names for rememberance at the WWII memorial in Washington D.C. Sherri also submitted Dale's name to the National Cathedral in D.C. at the WWII Memorial and applied and received the Cold War Award for Dale Posthumously. When Visiting the Nation's Capital you may enter Dale's name at the WWII memorial and National Cathedral to find him remembered there.
He was assigned to joint Air and Navy Military Air Transport Squadrons after the war until his retirement in 1963. He was a flight engineer and navigator on Super Constellation planes. Dale logged over a million air miles for which the Air Force awarded him million mile wings. Dale's flights took him to Japan, Malaysia, Saigon, India, Alaska and Hawaii (before they were states), Guam, and many more locations that were classified. He had many close calls during his flights. He always said, "I have been very very lucky".
Dale had a droll sense of humor and loved to tease. He was a bit hot headed but the first to help a friend. He would tell the most outrageous stories or say something controversial with a "smirky" grin to see if you bought it. Then laughed after wards. Dale loved to hunt. He hunted moose, deer, goat, and bear. Three years in a row he would hunt at the continental divide, stop in at Reno after the trip, and won enough to pay for his hunt. Dale loved life, nature, traveling the Alaska Highway and the world.
Dale was a 33 degree Mason and WWII veteran. He chose to be buried in his apron rather than his uniform. He worked hard after he retired owning and operating cocktail lounges in Fremont and Modesto California. He bought a 14 acre ranch in Oakdale, CA. Dale loved his ranch, animals, horses and country living that was similar to his childhood memories of Oklahoma.
Dale was a cowboy who was more at home in a cowboy hat and boots than in suits. He died too young from prostate cancer because he waited too long to see his doctor. He is interred across from the military memorial at Lakewood Memorial Cemetary in Hughson, Stanislaus County, CA . Dale is survived by his daughter Sherri, son Robert, two grand sons Shawn and Aaron, one great grand son Cole, and three great grand daughters, Kendal, Lauren, and Nicholette.
Dad was kind hearted, a hard worker, an expert mechanic, and courageous. He was also stubborn to a fault but mended fences before he died by telling his daughter that his biggest regret was not seeing how much family meant to her and asking his Grandson Shawn to forgive him for throwing a shoeing iron at him when he was thirteen. He was a one of kind cowboy who told wonderful stories and jokes to the end. He is missed by all of his family.
CAVEAT © copyright protected all photos and bio content may not be copied, duplicated or published without the written authorization of the owner Sherri Gillespie.
A Roy Gillespie (1892 - 1959)
E Paulene Gillespie (1896 - 1990)
Leonard Leroy Gillespie (1917 - 1985)*
Charlotte L. Gillespie Burk (1920 - 2013)*
Dale Clifton Gillespie (1922 - 1993)
Delmer Kirvin Gillespie (1925 - 2008)*
Theda Mae Gillespie Rupe (1928 - 1977)*
Lakewood Memorial Park
Plot: crypt 4th or 5th row
Created by: Sherri G.
Record added: Jun 23, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 54018601
Added: Aug. 7, 2014
Dad, I remember you with love, admiration, and respect on this and every veteran's day for your lifetime of service to your country.|
Added: Nov. 11, 2013
March 15, 2013 Thinking of you Dad. By now you know Charlotte passed over on 3/10/2013. Grandma & Grandpa, Theda, Leonard, Charlotte, Delmer, and You together again. Mom, Reba, and Linda & Ed too. I added a photo to yours and Charlotte's memorials of the ...(Read more)|
Added: Mar. 15, 2013
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