Colonel Jerry D. Driscoll
Driscoll, Colonel Jerry D. Colonel Jerry D. Driscoll (USAF, Retired), passed away at home 20 February 2016, at the age of 75, after a 6-year battle with Primary Lateral Sclerosis, a slower acting form of ALS. In the words of the late Adlai E. Stevenson, "Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime," words Jerry embodied as he dedicated much of his life to his country. Jerry was born in Chicago, Illinois, 21 February 1940. A 1958 graduate of De La Salle High School, he studied for 1 year at St. Mary's College in Winona, Minnesota, before receiving his appointment to the Air Force Academy, June 1959. He graduated in 1963 with a B.S. degree and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. Colonel Driscoll completed pilot training at Craig AFB, Alabama, receiving his pilot wings in October 1964, followed by an assignment to F-105 "Thunderchief" Combat Crew Training. After F-105 training, June 1965, he was assigned to the 560th Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS), McConnell AFB, Kansas, until November when reassigned to the 469th TFS, Korat AB, Thailand. While on his 112th mission, he was shot down over North Vietnam 24 April 1966 and immediately captured. Many of his 2,487 days of captivity were spent at Hoa Lo prison, a.k.a. the Hanoi Hilton. Driscoll was held in captivity nearly 7 years before his release 12 February 1973, with the first group of U.S. POWs to come home. Colonel Driscoll received training in the F-4 "Phantom" at George AFB, California, and in 1974 was assigned as Instructor Pilot in the F-4 at Homestead AFB, Florida. From July 1977 to June 1978, he attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and earned a Master's degree in Business Management from Central Michigan University. From July 1978 to June 1981, Jerry was assigned to the Air Force Inspection and Safety Center at Norton AFB, California, as F-105/A-10 Project Officer, and then as Chief, Fighter/Trainer Branch, Flight Safety Division. Jerry also earned an MBA from the University of Utah in 1981. From July 1981 to October 1982, he was assigned to Columbus AFB, Mississippi, as Instructor Pilot in the T-38 aircraft, and Asst. Operations Officer of the 50th Flying Training Squadron. Due to his real-world experience, he was named the commander of the 3612th Combat Crew Training Squadron (Survival), at Fairchild AFB, Washington, from November 1982 to May 1984. He was Commander, and Professor of Aerospace Studies, he was Commander of AFROTC Detachment 085 from July 1984 through June 1987 University of California-Berkeley, July 1987 to June 1987. Colonel Driscoll retired from the Air Force on 1 July 1987, after 24 years of service. Jerry flew for American Airlines from August 1987 to February 2000, retiring as a 727 Captain. He went on to pilot the Citation X for NetJets Aviation until he retired his wings in 2009. Colonel Driscoll's decorations include: Silver Star, two Legions of Merit, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Bronze Stars with Valor, two Purple Hearts, two Meritorious Service Medals, ten Air Medals, and three Air Force Commendation Medals. Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Anne Shira and Jeremiah Driscoll. He is survived by his wife, Sharon of Wayzata, Minnesota; son, Donald of Stockton, California; stepchildren, Kim Gehrman White (Mike), of Portland, Oregon and Jason Gehrman (Megan) of Long Lake, Minnesota; granddaughters, Trisha Driscoll, Alexandra and Madeleine White, and Ava Gehrman; grandsons, Sean Driscoll and Justin Gehrman. He will be greatly missed by his furry companion George the Bassett. Gifts in memory of Jerry may be made to The ALS Association or the United States Air Force Academy Fund. Visitation will be Monday, February 29, 5-7 p.m., followed by the rosary at 7 p.m., at David Lee Funeral Home, 1220 East Wayzata Blvd. in Wayzata. Mass of Christian Burial Tuesday, March 1, 11 a.m. with visitation starting at 10 a.m. at The Church of the Holy Name of Jesus, 155 County Road 24, in Medina. Interment at Holy Name Cemetery. David Lee Funeral Home Wayzata 952-473-5577 davidleefuneralhome.com
Published on February 28, 2016
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