His navigational skills were unprecedented and praised by generals, pilots, navigators and others which earned him the nickname of Magellan.
He loved statistics and noted how many sorties and air refueling missions he had flown and even how much fuel he had transferred in his career.
A memorial service will be held at Black Hills National Cemetery at 11 a.m. Military honors will be by the Ellsworth Air Force Base Honor Guard.
Send Flowers Sign/View Registry Donald Earl Simmons, 57, Rapid City, passed away March 26, 2018, at Rapid City Regional Hospital. Donald attended White Eagle School and Douglas school system. Simmons; a brother; sisters; and nieces, nephews, and other relatives.
Graveside services, with military honors, will be held at p.m.
Friday, March 30, 2018, at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.
He grew up in IN and was an alumnus of Indiana University, where he majored in Chemistry before entering the Air Force in 1961. After completing Undergraduate Navigator Training, he was stationed at Plattsburgh AFB, NY, flying KC-97s.When his parents died, he moved to the Mitchell area to live with family members.As soon as possible, he joined the Marine Corp and served two tours of duty.In 1972, he was stationed at Da Nang AB in Vietnam where he flew Gooney Birds, the EC-47, on reconnaissance missions.He was stationed at RAF Mildenhall, UK in the 10th ACCS flying EC-135s.She worked for the Albany County School District #1 at Linford Elementary.She enjoyed reading, crocheting, sewing, gardening, and camping with her family.Much of his 2nd tour was in the Middle East doing intelligence work.His passion was for the intelligence field and he held many positions related to that field.She graduated from high school in Belle Fouche, SD, and attended Black Hills State University in Spearfish, SD, receiving her BA in teaching.Ida Mae worked for Sitka Mental Health Clinic while living in Sitka, Alaska, for twenty years.