DUGGER JAY L

SFC Jay "Dug" L. Dugger was a VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 09/06/2017 at the age of 88.6
La Center, WA
Flight Class 55-F
Date of Birth 02/11/1929
Served in the U.S. Army
Served in Vietnam with 232 SIG CO in 62-63, 73 AVN in 64-65, 1 CAV DIV in 67-68
This information was provided by Julia - Daughter

More detail on this person: February 11, 1929 - September 6, 2017 Jay, a "remarkable man", passed away peacefully at Madigan Army Medical Center (MAMC), where he had been a Red Cross volunteer for eight years after he retired from the U.S Army and Puget Sound National Bank. At MAMC, he assisted at the Information Booth, Patient Escort, and handed out medications at the Pharmacy drive-up window. He joked that he, "Told people where to go" on one day, and "Pushed them around", on other days. He took his Red Cross volunteer service seriously. Jay was reliable, punctual, and enjoyed helping others wherever he could. He loved the social interaction and his assistance touched hundreds of people. Jay was born in Dalton, NE and lived through drought, high heat, brutally cold winters, dust storms, the depression, along with three older and one younger sister. His early years were spent with his family in Dalton, NE and Huntley, WY. They relocated to the Pacific Northwest and he graduated from Gault Junior High, attending from 1942 to 1944 and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1947. Jay recently attended his 70-year class reunion in August. Jay joined the Army Air Corps when he was 18-years old with the full intention of becoming an airplane pilot. He had planned to serve his time, get out of the service and become a commercial airline captain because as everyone knows, "They make lots of money." After basic training, he was sent to Randolph Field, TX for primary flight training and most of his class was told, "WWII is finished and they have a surplus of pilots so what else would you like to do?" Jay chose to remain with the Army and went to paratrooper training. He got married and started a family at Ft. Bragg, NC. After five years of jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, Jay got the chance to go to helicopter pilot training (rotary wing). After training at Fort Rucker, AL and spending two years at Fort Benning, GA, where his family then included a daughter and a son, he was reassigned to Nellingen Kaserne (Stuttgart), Germany. At Nellingen, he flew Sikorsky H-34s for three years and his second son was born there. During that assignment, he flew missions into seven European countries and was very proud of helping to build a part of the Dew Line Early Warning Radar system in Norway by hauling surveyors and building materials to mountain tops. Following Germany, he was reassigned to Fort Huachuca, AZ in order to fly helicopters at the Electronic Proving Ground. After 20-months there, he welcomed the chance to transition to fixed-wing aircraft as an additional qualification. What followed was: a 1-year tour in Viet Nam as a fixed wing pilot; 18-months at Fort Benning, GA testing Air Mobile Concept flying both fixed wing and rotary wing; a 1-year tour in Viet Nam as both a rotary wing and fixed wing pilot; 18-months at Fort Walters, TX as a helicopter instructor; a 1-year in Viet Nam flying for the 1st Cav Div followed by his final assignment at, Fort Bragg, NC, where he flew fixed and rotary wing for Special Forces. Jay retired from the Army as a Chief Warrant Officer (CW4) on October 1, 1969 after serving his country for more than 21-years. Early in Jay's Army career at Ft. Bragg, while on a weekend pass with his Army buddy Claude Forsythe, he met Claude's youngest sister Estelle "Frances" Forsythe. Sparks flew and their love blossomed which was the beginning of their wonderful life together. They started their 68-year adventure on September 16, 1949 in Raleigh, NC, and as Jay would later touchingly say, "We've traveled a lot of miles together." In the summer of 1970, after Jay's Army career, they relocated to Tacoma, WA and put down their final roots there. He completed a second career working in maintenance with Puget Sound Bank and retired from there March 1, 1992. Jay was active with the Old Aviators Association and met regularly with them to catch up on the latest news with his fellow pilots. He was active at Summit Methodist church and diligently researched his genealogy. If there was a new Dugger to be found, Jay would have been reaching out gathering information and checking the history. Both Jay and Frances "Fran" loved to garden. Fran was the flower expert and Jay grew some of the most delicious apples, pears, blueberries, raspberries, and cherries in Tacoma. Their vegetable garden had lush green corn stalks that stood taller than Jay could reach, as well as zucchinis, cabbage, cucumbers, and tomato's requiring a wheel barrel to gather regularly. They shared their harvest freely and relished having family and friends tour the yard with them. It was always a spectacular sight to see and indeed was, "Their Livingroom." Jay is survived by his wife Frances of Tacoma, WA; three children Julia Thornton (Greg) of La Center, WA, Floyd Dugger (Chris) of Roy, WA, Bryon Dugger (Dawn) of Renton, WA; eight grandchildren, Christy Hartline of Springfield, VA, Brittany Ianneo (Chad) of Arroyo Grande, CA, Amber Dugger of Portland, OR, Sterling Ulrich (Ali) of Snohomish, WA, Dawnna Salisbury of Sultan, WA, Falishia Bares (Petr) of Las Vegas, NV, Sean Dugger of Sacramento, CA, Bryce Dugger of Seattle, WA, and eight great grandchildren, Trevin Salisbury, Jaxson Ulrich, Rashell Salisbury, Kaison Salisbury, Shyann Rylah, Ranah Rylah, Savanna Ulrich, and Kelly Bares. Jay's surviving sister is Mary Jane Lester of Oak Harbor, WA. He was preceded in death by his parents, Lauren Dugger and Clara Dugger Osborn; three sisters, Harriett Bussard, Hazel Knowles, and Margaret "Fern" Dutton Williams; and one grandson Joshua Dugger. A memorial service will be held at 10:30 AM on Monday, September 25, 2017 at Tahoma National Cemetery, 18600 SE 240th Street, Kent, WA. In lieu of flowers, the family would welcome a donation be made in Jay's name at the Fisher House Foundation.

Burial information: Tahoma National Cemetary

This information was last updated 12/27/2017

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: 09/19/2018


Copyright © 1998 - 2018 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association