Col. David D. Young, Sr, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), 87, of Peachtree City, Ga., died Tuesday, August 15, 2017.
Dave was born in Houston, Texas, March 27, 1930. In high school, he worked at Philmont Scout Ranch leading strings of burros and guiding campers and scouts through the mountains. He often spoke of the challenges he faced while alone on the trail, as well as the responsibility and character he developed.
Dave graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1952 and entered pilot training. He served 30 years as a fighter pilot, engineer, test pilot, field commander, staff officer and college professor in the U.S. Air Force. A career highlight was his assignment as an experimental test pilot, flying the A-11, the A-12 “OXCART” as well as the SR-71 “Blackbird”.
Young’s service and air combat awards include: The Legion of Merit (1 OLC), Distinguished Flying Cross (2 OLC), Meritorious Service Medal (1 OLC), Air Medal (13 OLC), Air Force Commendation Medal (2 OLC), Presidential Unit Citation, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (1 OLC) as well as numerous battle and theater ribbons.
Dave’s civilian occupations included employment with the CIA and President of David D. Young Associates, Inc. As a consultant for Textron, Inc. he was instrumental in developing the “JDAM”, a low-cost, GPS aided guidance kit, which converts existing free-fall bombs into accurately guided “smart” weapons to pinpoint targets and avoid civilian causalities, a system that is still used by the military today.
Dave was a member of IEEE, AIAA, SETP and The Philmont Staff Association (BSA). He was a former president of the Gunfighter’s Association, Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association and the Sandhills Chapter of MOAA and a past Chair, advocate and volunteer supporter of the Moore County Empty Stocking Fund.
Family was important to Dave. He had a way with kids and they loved his attention. His “Donald Duck” voice was always a hit with his grandkids and great grandkids. He knew golf cart rides to the “Bridge to Nowhere” searching for the ever-elusive deer would keep them happy for hours. When he retired, Dave enjoyed playing golf. He was competitive in his groups and would often use his “winnings” to treat friends and family to dinner.
Dave is survived by his college sweetheart and wife of 65 years, Joan Alice (Woodbury) Young, three children: Sharon L. Horton of Ft. Pierce, Fla., David D. Young Jr. (Sally) of Senoia, Ga. and Michael S. Young (Amy) of Richmond, Texas; 12 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Dave is preceded in death by his parents Daniel and Nettie Jane (Wood) Young and his brothers Daniel Jr, Robert, Harry, William and Donald.
A memorial service was held at Arbor Terrace Peachtree City. Burial will follow at Arlington National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Dave’s honor may be made to: The Empty Stocking Fundhttps://www.emptystockingfund.org or The Philmont Staff Association www.philstaff.org/give/annual-fund or to a charity of your choice.
Carl J. Mowell & Son Funeral Home, Peachtree City – www.mowellfuneralhome.com.