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In Memoriam, LTC Donald Bennett (US Army Ret), 1933-2011, founder/owner of Don's Model Works and Wings Models LLC. My father and my friend, I will miss him very much.
Donald Bennett was born in 1933 in Kiowa County, in southwest Oklahoma. He lived on the family farm which had been homesteaded by his great-grandfather, and was active in raising livestock for FFA projects. He graduated from Snyder High School in 1951 and left to attend college at Oklahoma A&M University (now OSU).
Donald Bennett entered the United States Army as a recruit in 1953 and quickly rose through NCO School, Officer Candidate School, and Flight School. He served as an officer in the Air Artillery branch and was qualified in both fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft. Highlights of his military career included two tours in Vietnam with the First Cavalry Division, command of the endurance testing program for the AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter at Fort Rucker, command of a training battalion (5th/4th) at Fort Leonard Wood, and command of the Training and Indoctrination intake (TRADOC) for new recruits for northern Illinois. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1976, after 23 years of military service. In recent years, Don enjoyed reuniting with old friends and comrades at annual meetings of the Aerial Rocket Artillery Association.
While finishing his bachelor's degree at OSU in 1961, Don met Carol Bohannon, and they were married in September 1961. They had two children, Chuck and Pam. While Don was commanding a training battalion at Fort Leonard Wood, they moved to the Rolla, Missouri, area, and that is where they chose to retire. After his retirement from the Army, Don finished his MBA at Webster University, taught business classes at Drury University, and raised cattle and hay. He also served as a Deacon, Trustee, and Elder at First Presbyterian Church of Rolla.
Don Bennett bought the Wings 48 and Wings 72 model company from Don Bratt of Michigan in 2001 and began producing and selling vacuform model kits under the name Wings Models. In 2004 he bought the Eagles Talon model company and added those kits to the Wings Models line. In October of 2004 he incorporated the business as Wings Models LLC, a Missouri Limited Liability Company. With the assistance of his son, Chuck Bennett, he expanded the company's eBay sales to his own website, Don's Model Works (www.donsmodelworks.com), for sales of vacuform kits produced by Wings Models LLC, plus model kits from other companies that were purchased from a wholesale distributor. In 2007 the company added books to the product line-up, to be followed by modeling tools and armor model kits.
Don Bennett died in September, 2011, just two weeks short of his 50th wedding anniversary. He will be missed by his friends and family, including his wife, children, and grandchildren.
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