|Birth: ||Oct. 15, 1921|
|Death: ||Dec. 12, 1997|
Retired Air Force Col. Frenchy Bennett
KURTEN -- Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Frenchy Dumont Bennett, 76, a 1939 graduate of Cross Plains High School, died Friday at his home.
Services will be at noon Monday in Zion Church with the Rev. Duane DeWald officiating. Burial will be in Kurten Cemetery, directed by Memorial Funeral Chapel of Bryan.
Mr. Bennett was born in Cottonwood and married Mary Elizabeth Wilson in 1942. He graduated from Texas A&M University in 1943. He was in the Air Force for 30 years and attended the Army-Air Force Navigator School. He helped start the Berlin Airlift Operation by landing a C-47 airplane at Templehof Airfield in Berlin, Germany. He was with the Strategic Air Command for 25 years and was a co-pilot on the RB-17G and RB-29A aircraft for nine years with the 99th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron. He was a commander of the C-54, B-29, B-47, B-52, T-38 and Blackbird SR-71 aircraft, and was both an aircraft and squadron commander for the B-52 Bomber program at SAC Headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Neb. He then became the senior officer in charge of design modifications for the B-52.
He flew the B-52 on its first non-stop air-refueling trip around the globe.
He was a test pilot for the SR-71 aircraft at the Mojave Testing Grounds at Edwards AFB in California. He then was assigned to the Pentagon as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Special Studies Group from 1968-71 and received a Legion of Merit award for this work. A graduate of the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., Bennett was an Air Force liaison to General Dynamics for design and modification work on the TFX fighter before retiring from the military in 1972. He then moved to Kurten and was a Brazos County volunteer firefighter for 18 years. He was president of the Precinct 2 Brazos County Volunteer Fire Department, and also was president of the church council for two terms at Zion Church.
Survivors include his wife, of Kurten; one son, Bradley Steven Bennett of Santa Fe, N.M.; one daughter, Dianne Holton of Tyler; two brothers, Wallace J. Bennett and John Franklin Bennett, both of Cross Plains; three grandchildren; and many cousins, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.
Memorials may be sent to Hospice of Brazos Valley, 205 E. 29th St., Bryan 77803; or Zion Church, 967 FM 2038 North, Kurten 77803.
[Originally published in the Abilene Reporter-News, 14 Dec 1997; a reprint was found online at http://www3.cottonwoodtexas.com/obituaries/14/bennett-frenchy-dumont-col]
W. J. Bryan Bennett (1896 - 1965)
Alta Lee Bennett (1902 - 1977)
Mary Elizabeth Wilson Bennett (1922 - 2015)*
Frenchy Dumont Bennett (1921 - 1997)
Wallace Jennings Bennett (1924 - 2014)*
Arnett Langevin Bennett (1930 - 1989)*
Created by: David Bell
Record added: Aug 15, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 40710653