CW5 Martin "Duane" D. Dillingham, CW5 was a VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 01/11/2023 at the age of 74.9 from Accident
Raleigh, NC
Flight Classes 69-39 and 69-41
Date of Birth 02/26/1948
Served in the U.S. Army
Served in Vietnam with 134 AHC in 70
Call sign in Vietnam DEMON 15
This information was provided by Bob Pope

More detail on this person: Obituary For Martin Duane Dillingham Martin "Duane" Dillingham, 74, of Raleigh, NC died on January 11, 2023, in an accidental death at his home. He was born in Pearl River, NY, on February 26, 1948, son of the late Martin A. Dillingham and Florence D. Dillingham. Duane grew up in Fort Montgomery, New York, where he enjoyed hunting, riding motorcycles, ski jumping, wrestling, water skiing, and spending time with his dad, mom, sister, and brother at their lake house in Parksville, NY. He graduated from Storm King High School, Cornwall, NY in 1966. In 1973, Duane graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL, and he lived his life with an immense sense of duty and purpose serving his country in the Vietnam War and Operation Enduring Freedom, earning more than 30 combat air medals. In his 42-year military career, he served in the Army and Army National Guard and retired from the Military as a Chief Warrant Officer 5. He was the National Guard's last Vietnam Huey helicopter pilot to retire from service. Duane was the first chief pilot for Geisinger Life Flight, impacting an immeasurable amount of people in the community. Even in the past few years, he found purpose in late night flights transporting organs for critically ill patients. Duane married Donna on October 27th, 1974, underneath a blue spruce tree in Orofino, Idaho. Every day was an adventure for them both, and they enjoyed hiking, canoeing, going to the beach, and riding the Ural. They lived in the Pacific Northwest early in their marriage, traveling between logging camps while he was a Pilot for Evergreen Helicopters. They settled in Pennsylvania, lived in Germany while on a military assignment, and then spent the last 13 years in Raleigh with their kids and grandchildren. Duane lived life to the fullest. When he wasn't flying for work, he enjoyed flying and hanging out with other aviation enthusiasts at Lake Ridge Aero Park, riding motorcycles, water skiing, traveling with his wife and having fun with his grandchildren teaching them to ride motorcycles, archery, electronics projects, navigation, and survival skills. Duane was preceded in death by his parents and by his sister, Mary Linda Dillingham. Duane leaves behind and is missed by his wife Donna (Coolidge) of 48 years; brother, Kevin Dillingham; daughter and husband, Marty Lynn and Jeffrey Lynch; son and wife, Shane and Misty Dillingham; grandchildren Sydney Dillingham (11), Henry Dillingham (9 - pilot in training), Madeline Lynch (7); step grandchildren Alyssa Lynch (21) and Jack Lynch (17). All of whom he loved and touched deeply. He will also be remembered by his mother-in-law, Jean Coolidge, sister-in-law and her husband Linda and Richard Saunders, sister-in-law and her husband Marilyn and Peter Murphy, brother-in-law and his wife Craig and Kathie Coolidge, and the many people whose lives he touched. All have said "they don't come better than Duane," and "he was the kindest man and always made me laugh." He was the best of the best in so many ways! Please join us in celebrating his life at 2:00 pm on Saturday, January 21, 2023, at Soapstone United Methodist Church, 12837 Norwood Road, Raleigh, NC 27613. Family and friends are welcome to a gathering with refreshments immediately after the service and to share their love and stories with the family. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Wounded Warriors or Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

This information was last updated 01/15/2023

Please send additions or corrections to: HQ@vhpa.org VHPA Headquarters

Return to the Helicopter Pilot DAT name list

Return to VHPA web site

Date posted on this site: 06/15/2024

Copyright © 1998 - 2024 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association