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Pat Donovan, Word War II pilot, achieves another milestone

For pilot Pat Donovan, the past 100 years have flown by.

A recent article that appeared in the Webster-Kirkwood Times highlighted some of Pat’s experience in World War II, Korea, and beyond as part of the celebration for his 100th birthday.

“I was fortunate to never get shot down,” Pat told the paper. “However, I was on the flight deck when it got bombed during an attack. It missed me, but went through and hit my quarters one level down. Lucky, I wasn’t down there at the time.”

After his experience in WWII, Pat was called up for duty in the Korean war, and later continued to fly helicopters for a company in Louisiana. In that job, he helped work in geological exploration for water and oil, and was part of building a distant early warning system.

Pat was born in Kirkwood, but his career took him around the country and the world, including Alaska, Puerto Rico, Greenland, Columbia, and other parts of South America.

Eventually, he retired from the Defense Mapping Agency in St. Louis.  

The article recounts, through stories from Pat’s son, how the would-be pilot rode his bike upwards of 15 miles as a youngster to watch the air traffic at the St. Louis International airport.

“My grandmother said she used to call the airport and say, ‘Send that little red-headed kid home,” Pat’s son told the paper.

Be sure to take some time to thank Pat for his long and distinguished service - and maybe take a few moments to ask him to share some of his interesting tales.

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