DONALD E. WESTBROOK, COL, USAF

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Donald Westbrook '51

Date of birth: August 28, 1926

Date of death: March 13, 1968

Age: 41

Lucky Bag

From the 1951 Lucky Bag:

Remembrances

From Wall of Faces:

I AM PROUD TO BE DONALD ELLIOT WESTBROOK'S ONLY DAUGHTER. I WAS 4 YEARS OLD WHEN HE WAS SHOT DOWN. MY MOM AND I ARE SURVIVORS AND ATTRIBUTE OUR STRENGTH FROM MY DAD'S LOVE FOR US AND HIS TREMENDOUS BRAVERY. HE WAS A FIGHTER AND SO ARE WE. HE WON'T BE FORGOTTEN!! WE MISS HIM SO MUCH!! HE IS WITH US EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY!! I WAS JUST MARRIED AND MY MOM WALKED ME DOWN THE AISLE. I KNOW HE WAS PROUD OF HIS LITTLE GIRL.

MY HEART GOES OUT TO ALL THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN TOUCHED IN ANYWAY BY THE VIETNAM WAR.

I LOVE YOU DAD, CYNTHIA ANNE WESTBROOK BEVACQU, 1/19/99

I was stationed with Don at Perrin AFB, Sherman TX during 1953-1956. We instructors in the T-33/F-86-D aircraft. Don was living with his mother at the time. He was a super guy, tremendous sense of humor, and my priviledge to have known Don. Rest in peace old friend. I miss you. STERLING MOELLER, Mustang, OK, 11/20/98

My father was scheduled to go with you on this flight unless his aircraft was repaired before then. My father never went on the mission with you. In 1988, my parents gave me your name to search for at Arlington Cemetary and at the wall when my class trip was to Washington DC.

When I stood at your marker, I said a silent prayer. When your remains were finally found and identified, I went back and visited your grave again. Thank you for your service. My father died 2 years ago. I hope he is able to thank you himself. Anonymous, 10/1/15

Silver Star

From Hall of Valor:

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Major Donald Elliot Westbrook (AFSN: FR-22378), United States Air Force, was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while serving with the 602d Fighter Squadron (Commando), Udorn Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand, in action in Southeast Asia on 5 November 1967.

General Orders: Headquarters, 7th Air Force, Special Order G-10 (January 2, 1968)
Action Date: November 5, 1967
Service: Air Force
Rank: Major
Company: 602d Fighter Squadron (Commando)
Division: Udorn Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand

From Hall of Valor:

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Major Donald Elliot Westbrook (AFSN: FR-22378), United States Air Force, was awarded a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Silver Star for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while serving with the 602d Fighter Squadron (Commando), Udorn Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand, in action in Southeast Asia.

Action Date: Vietnam War
Service: Air Force
Rank: Major
Company: 602d Fighter Squadron (Commando)
Division: Udorn Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pride in presenting a Second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Third Award of the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Major Donald Elliot Westbrook (AFSN: FR-22378), United States Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as an A-1 Skyraider Pilot of the 602d Fighter Squadron (Commando), Udorn Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand, in Southeast Asia on 13 March 1968. On that date, Major Westbrook was leading a search and rescue task force on an extremely sensitive and militarily important recovery mission. During this mission Major Westbrook exposed himself to the constant threat of hostile ground fire for over two and a half hours. A dense cloud cover required him to fly his aircraft close to the ground within range of hostile gunners. While attempting to locate possible survivors, Major Westbrook's aircraft was downed, and he was declared missing in action. By his gallantry and devotion to duty Major Westbrook has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: March 13, 1968
Service: Air Force
Rank: Major
Company: 602d Fighter Squadron (Commando)
Division: Udorn Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand

Distinguished Flying Cross

From Hall of Valor:

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Major Donald Elliot Westbrook (AFSN: FR-22378), United States Air Force, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight in Southeast Asia.

Action Date: Vietnam War
Service: Air Force
Rank: Major

From Hall of Valor:

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Major Donald Elliot Westbrook (AFSN: FR-22378), United States Air Force, was awarded a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight in Southeast Asia.

Action Date: Vietnam War
Service: Air Force
Rank: Major

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pride in presenting a Second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Third Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) to Major Donald Elliot Westbrook (AFSN: FR-22378), United States Air Force, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as an A-1 Skyraider Pilot on 3 February 1968. On that date, Major Westbrook participated in a highly successful strike against hostile forces threatening a friendly position. The strike resulted in twenty-eight storage facilities destroyed and denial to the hostile forces of vast quantities of material and ammunition stored within these buildings. This strike was accomplished despite the poor weather in the target area and a heavy volume of accurate ground fire. The professional competence, aerial skill, and devotion to duty displayed by Major Westbrook reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: February 3, 1968
Service: Air Force
Rank: Major

Loss

From Find A Grave:

Colonel Westbrook was a member of the 602nd Special Operations Squadron, Nakhom Phenom, Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. On March 13, 1968, he was flying in a Douglas Skyraider Attack Aircraft (A1-E) on a search and rescue mission for survivors stranded on Phou Pha Thi Mountain, Annan Province, Laos, when his aircraft was shot down by hostile fire. His remains were recovered on September 3, 1998 and identified on February 14, 2007.

Don was a Major when he was lost; his promotions to Lt. Colonel and Colonel came while he was in a missing status.

Other

A-1 Skyraider Training Class from Hurlburt Field, Florida (Englin AFB Aux 9). Back row (on wing): Capt McGee, Capt Allen S. Cherry (KIA 67/08/09), Capt Donald Yarbrough Front row: Maj David D. Chamberlin, Capt Rubel, Maj David J. Gunster (KIA 68/06/06), LtCol Guthrie, Maj Donald E. Westbrook (KIA 68/03/13), LtCol John Carlson, Maj Deshaies

Don was a graduate of the USAF Experimental Flight Test Pilot School in April 1960 as a Captain.


Class of 1951

Donald is one of 48 members of the Class of 1951 in Memorial Hall.