TSGT WAYNE E. DONDERO ~ USAF JULY 7, 1935 ~ NOVEMBER 11, 2017 - Stories




Dad added six months to his tour of duty in Vietnam when he was asked to serve with the Green Beret. He flew over 800 sortie missions into Cambodia delivering as well as rescuing our spies, who were watching the Ho Chi Minh trail. When the whisper came over the radio, " come get us" it meant they were surrounded. He flew in under heavy fire to save them and crash landed twice over enemy lines. He recalled having to run back to the helicopter to grab the radio and he could see the line of enemy fire coming out of the jungle as they were boarding a rescue bird. He has a Green Hornet placque as well as medals commemorating his bravery.

He spent 21 years in service to our country via the USAF

He and his brother, our Uncle Spike, were in Vietnam at the same time. Dad was there first and Uncle Spike had signed up for his third tour of duty. One day dad's Sgt called him in and said, " Hey, your brother is trying to locate you". Dad managed a short leave and a ride into Saigon at MACV headquarters, where Uncle Spike was stationed. When he got there he asked where to find him and someone said, " Hey I know Bob, his orders were cancelled and he isn't coming" Dad had to fly back into the jungle without seeing his brother. Somehow Uncle Spike located dad by phone and they spoke for 10 minutes. Uncle Spike told dad " Get out of here, out of this country Wayne. Two family members can't be here at the same time!" Dad told him he would, but he stayed anyway. He just took his one week leave in Australia then went back. That was the last time they spoke, they didn't get to see one another before Uncle Spike was killed in action @ Quang Duc province.



DAD SENT MOM THIS PHOTO FROM JAPAN, MOM SENT THESE TWO IN RETURN. Dad was in Japan when Mike was born but I don't have the picture mom sent him. There used to be a telegram in mom's things that said " It's a boy stop love Ginger stop"

Virginia Mae (Tubbs) Dondero

  • USA

Here are some photos of mom and granny

I love the one of mom being silly on the trike.

The first meeting, mom and dad Sept. 1955

  • Texas

Mom was a car hop when she first saw dad. Dad was on leave and went with his buddies for a burger. Mom told her best friend, Jeanne ..."That's the man I want to marry" . Six weeks later, October 15,1955 she did just that. When dad was asked what he first thought when he saw mom he said ..."hubba hubba"

    Dad's middle name, Emery, is a family surname on his mother's side of the family