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MAJ DUANE William DIVELY

  • Branch: Air Force
  • Hometown/City: RANCHO CALIFORNIA, CA
  • Date of Birth:
  • Date of Death: 06-22-2005
  • Conflict: Operation Enduring Freedom
  • Unit: 1ST RECONNAISSANCE SQUADRON
  • Port/Base: BEALE AFB, CA

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  • Air Force Major Duane William Dively was born with a passion for flying from his first breath. His first plane ride was at age 7, during which he requested a home-made cape for his early flying adventures. In his youth, Duane served as an altar boy, although one with a mischievous side. He was well known for his good natured pranks and practical jokes. Duane excelled in and enjoyed participating in several sports including ice hockey and wrestling. Less known was Duane's interest in writing/recording his own music and film-making. His talent was recognized by the New York Board of Education awarding him first place in the New York State Film/Media contest in 1980. From his childhood, Duane was a self-taught mechanic and musician. He spent countless hours restoring cars and building amplifiers as well as speaker cabinets. He was even in the process of building his own electric guitar. Duane also enjoyed working out in the gym, cycling and even built his own racing bike. After graduating from H.C. Williams High School, Canton, NY in 1980, Duane joined the U.S. Marine Corps. While stationed at Camp Pendleton, where he served as an Avionics Technician, he met and was instantly smitten with the woman who would become his wife. Duane and Beth Ann were engaged within a month and married that same year. Their bond of mutual trust and love continued to endure for 20 years. Duane entered the U.S. Air Force in 1989 in pursuit of his dreams of flight. After graduating from Undergraduate Pilot Training in 1990, he was assigned to the AC-130 Spectre Gunship, Hurlburt Field, Fl. In 1995, Duane was welcomed into the U-2 Program at Beale AFB where he eventually mentored and trained U-2 and T-38 pilots, directly contributing new combat mission ready aviators to support critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions worldwide. Duane was a jokester, a craftsman, a musician, a romantic with his wife Beth Ann, a dedicated son to his mother Donata and father William and role model to his brother, David. He was inspired by challenges but also a humble man of deep faith in God who applied his beliefs in all aspects of his life, until his death, when his plane crashed upon returning from an operational mission in Southwest Asia. Major Dively's professionalism and dedication to duty produced immeasurable and lasting contributions to U-2 combat readiness. He distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while engaged in ground combat against an enemy of the United States while in support of OIF and OEF. He led the squadron in combat aerial reconnaissance of enemy militias, Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives and routinely exposed himself to extreme danger from high-altitude combat reconnaissance missions over enemy territory. His leadership and experience in U-2 Operations had a direct influence over aerial reconnaissance missions yielding exceptional quality intelligence leading to the destruction of enemy forces. By his heroic actions and unselfish dedication to duty in the service of his country, Maj Duane Dively was awarded The Bronze Star Medal.

    Beth Dively, Spouse