Paul D. Salley

Obituary - Akron News-Reporter, Sept. 17, 2014


Paul D. Salley, Lt. Col. Usaf Ret., 91, of Hermet CA passed away on Saturday, August 23, 2014 at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, Ca. Born on July 3, 1923 in Colton, CA; he was the eldest son of the late William and Birdie Salley.

A proud American, Paul enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps at the age of 18 in which he served throughout the Second World War. He flew 30 missions over Europe in the B-24 Liberator bombers duting which he received the DFC.

He continued his military career after the war in the United States Air Force (USAF) when it was formed as a separate branch of the military on 18 Sep 1947 under the National Security Act of 1947. He transitioned to the nuclear delivery B-47 Stratojets in the Strategic Air Command and saw action during the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

He ended his career flying C-130 aircraft for the Military Airlift Command. Also during this time he was a member of the Air Force Thunderbird Air Demonstration Team.

After a 20-year career he retired with the rank of Lt Col. He always remained humble, serving not for prestige but for the privilege to serve.

After retirement Paul enjoyed a short career as a banker but his passion for flying held on. He flew as a commerical pilot for Hemet Ryan Aviation, a commuer airline; the US Navy as a civiliean contract pilot droping electronic warfare drones, and as an air tanker pilot for the US Forestry Service.

Paul even found time to build and fly an experimental, open cockpit, bi-wing, high-performance airplane. He owned several of his own airplanes for many years and loved to take family and friends flying with him. Although he lived in California he often visited Akron Colorado near where he was born and raised.

Paul is preceded in passing by his beloved wife Mary Lou and his sister, Phyllis Peters. He is survived by his children, Richard, Linda Mistele, and Evelyn Richards; his siblings Glen Salley, Mary Ann Saffer, Barbara Wilson, Bill Salley, and Sandy Vaughn; eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

A funeral service was held on Friday, 5 Sep 2014 in Riverside, Calif, followed by a memorial service to honor his service to his country at Riverdale National Cemetery in Riverside, Calif.

The following news story appeared in the Akron News-Reporter, October 1944

Platner Flier is Awarded Distinguished Flying Cross for Combat duty
Lieut. Paul D. Salley, Home on Furlough, Gets Flying Cross

Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) to 1st Lieut. Paul D. Calley of Platner for "extrordinary achievement in aerial combat" was announced recently by Maj. Gen. William E. Kepner, Commanding General of the Second Bombardment Division at the Eighth Air Force Liberator station in England.

Lieut. Salley is a co-pilot of a B-24 Liberator bomber who has participated in 30 bombing missions over Germany and enemy occupied Europe. Many of these missions were in the face of heavy enemy opposition.

He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. William H. Salley, who live northeast of Platner. A graduate of Platner high school, he was assisting his father on the farm before entereing the army on March 16, 1942. The Platner flyer was stationed at Wendover Field, Utah, before going overseas March 11, 1944.

Besides the DFC, Lieut. Salley hols the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters. Lieut. Salley, who has been spending a furlough with his parents since returning from overseas, expects to leave for California on Friday. At the California station, he will await reassignment duty.

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