Skelton, Ben C., Lt Col USAF (Ret)

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Skelton, Ben C., Lt Col USAF (Ret)

Post by wildbill » Mon Jan 12, 2015 5:16 pm

Lt. Col. Ben C. Skelton (USAF Ret.) age 89, died Jan. 2nd, 2015 in Colorado Springs,
CO, a victim of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. He served over 32 years as a pilot and
during three wars: WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. He was the son of Ben and Anna
Skelton. Brother Keith Skelton and brother-in-law Ardell Wilkins (of TWA) were bomber
pilots and brother Carl Black was an Army officer. Ben was born in Skeltontown, PA, on
July 16th , 1925. He enlisted in 1943 and married Marian Elaine Freeauf from Conneaut
Lake, PA in 1946. He retired in 1975, with 400 combat hours, 12,000 flying hours and
five overseas tours with over 20 awards including two Air Medals and was a Ground
and Airborne Master Nuclear Weapons Controller. He flew into 245 airfields. Early in his
career, as an Air Force radar controller in Canada, Ben received the Air Force We Point
With Pride award for saving a lost fighter pilot. Ben flew along the Distant Early Warning
(DEW) Line in Canada and Alaska, RC/EC-121-D Super-Constellation radar planes out
of Otis AFB on Cape Cod, MA, and VC-118s with SAMS from Peterson Field. In Viet
Nam Ben flew the EC-121 Super-Constellation again from Thailand over Cambodia.

Later, flying the VC-118 in SAMS he flew military commanders, congressmen and
ambassadors in Europe and the Pacific. Ben was the initial co-commander for Wake
Island, preparing the base for 6000 refugees when Viet Nam fell. Ben and Elaine lived
in Sun City West AZ for 21 years where Ben served in many veterans’s organizations,
frequently as president, including the VFW, TROA, MOWW, the American Legion and
the Order of Daedalians. He was a 32nd degree Mason. He loved to golf and marshaled
for PGA and LPGA tournaments in Hawaii and Arizona for more than 30 years, usually
on the 18th green. He is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Elaine Skelton, son
Terry and wife Dorothy McNamara; son Chris, wife Lisa and daughter Breanna;
daughter Lisa Brandt and husband Jim and sons Jason and Tyler.

Online Remembrances:
Cards to: Skelton Family, 1122 N. Custer, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
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