Tributes & Stories

 

Obituary (TX): James Ralph Dunbar '55

Posted on 06/21/2018

Colonel James (Jim) Ralph Dunbar, Ret. USAF passed away peacefully in his home in the Woodlands, Texas on May 14th, 2018. He is survived by his three children, Timothy A. Dunbar, Thad P. Dunbar, and Sharon D. McGrath, and five grandchildren. He is also survived by his two brothers Richard P. Dunbar and Fredrick A. Dunbar and his sister Deanna D. Duncan.

Jim was born in Crawfordsville, IN on July 17, 1930. He grew up in Darlington, IN and after his first year at Purdue University he was accepted into the US Naval Academy.

While at the Academy he joined the Navy rowing team and was a member of the "Great Eight" that won the Gold Medal in the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland. The crew remained undefeated over three years and twenty-nine consecutive races, a feat unmatched by any other in the sport.

After graduating, he was commissioned into the US Air Force. He further attended, during his 28 year career, the Armed Forces Staff College, the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, and the Aerospace Research Pilot School.

He was a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. Also a decorated fighter pilot during the Vietnam War where he flew his beloved F-105, Thunderchief. During his test pilot career he flew many different aircraft. His favorites were the Century series aircraft (F100-F106). He earned many medals and awards including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal w/10 OLC, and the Air Force Commendation Medal.

He will be inurned in the Columbarium at the USNA on July 16, 2018 to rest on the shores near the Severn River to watch the Navy crews row by. The service will be at 11:00am on Monday July 16th, 2018.

In memory of Dad:

High Flight

"Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds, and done a hundred things... I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace. Where never lark, or even eagle flew And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod The high untrespassed sanctity of space, - Put out my hand, and touched the face of God."

John Gillispie Magee Jr.

Published on yourwoodlandsnews.com from June 20 to July 3, 2018