Colonel Drury Callahan USAF retired, age 86, of Plano, Texas passed away in his home on the evening of February 25, 2016.
Drury was born on March 4, 1929 in Kansas City, MO. In 1950, following his graduation from the University of Missouri with a degree in business administration, he entered the USAF as an aviation cadet and began pilot training. He was commissioned a 2nd Lt. and received his wings as an F-51D Mustang pilot upon completion of training in December 1951.
In 1952, Drury transitioned to the F-86 Sabre and was sent to Korea as a member of the 334th squadron in the famous 4thFighter/Interceptor Group. While in Korea Drury flew 125 combat missions against the Russian built MIG-15.
After returning from Korea, Drury continued flying jet fighters with squadrons in Europe, the Air Defense Command, and the Tactical Air Command.
In March 1966, Drury deployed with the 389th TFS to Vietnam where he flew 200 combat missions in the F-4 Phantom before returning to the states in January 1967. Upon his return, he was assigned as an instructor pilot to train F-4 replacement pilots for duty in Vietnam. His instructor pilot assignment continued until June 1969 when he took over command of the 7th TFS at Holloman AFB, New Mexico. During his tenure as commander, the parent wing received the MacKay Trophy, an annual USAF award given for outstanding airmanship.
Graduating from the Air War College in 1972, Drury completed assignments with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the USAF Air Staff at the Pentagon, as well as a second tour in Southeast Asia, before retiring in 1978 as a colonel in the regular Air Force. Following his career with the military, Drury enrolled in Texas Aero Tech to become a certified aviation airframe & powerplant mechanic, eventually becoming an instructor and the school's top administrator.
Drury's passion for aviation did not end with his retirement from the Air Force as he went on to spend enumerable hours flying "Genevieve", his beloved Beechcraft Bonanza. Additionally, his love of travel lead him to destinations around the world including Ireland, Israel, France, Germany, Southeast Asia and all corners of the US. His most recent adventure was a cruise to England aboard the Queen Mary II. Drury was an avid and talented photographer and carried with him at least one camera on all trips to capture scenics and memories. For the past fifteen years, Drury volunteered as a docent at the Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Addison, TX, where he enjoyed the company of good friends in the presence of many of his favorite airplanes.
He is survived by his children William (Pam) from NV, Patricia from Salt Lake City, UT, Brian (Denise) from Los Angeles, CA, his sister-in-law Dora Lee Callahan from Kansas City, MO, niece Margaret Callahan from Des Moines, IA, and 6 loving grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. Drury is preceded in death by his wife Helen, parents Samuel and Agnes, brother Carter and niece Susan.
Friends and family are invited to a gathering on the evening of March 25, 2016 at 5:00 PM to share memories and celebrate a life well lived. The reception will be held at the Cavanaugh Flight Museum, located in Addison Airport, 4572 Claire Chennault St, Addison, TX 75001 At a later date Colonel Callahan will join his wife Helen in interment at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. The family suggests that memorials be made to Wreaths Across America.org (via the Dignity Memorial website)
Interred July 14, 2016
Helen Clare Comerford Callahan
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