Thursday, April 21, 2016

R is for R.D. Lancaster

I am participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge (April 2016), where we write 26 blog posts featuring each letter of the alphabet.

R.D., my grandmother’s brother, was born Rayburn Dinion Lancaster on 3 July 1920 in Erath County, Texas to George Warren Lancaster and Lela Ann Loveless.[1] He attended Tarleton Agricultural College where he was editor of Grassburr and president of the Press club. World War II started before he finished and he was exempt from taking finals.[2]

He joined the Army Air Corps on 14 January 1942 and trained in Chickasa, Oklahoma.[3] By November 1943, R.D. was a Captain and had completed 50 combat missions in a P-40 Warhawk in the European theater.[4]

After World War II, R.D. remained in the Air Force and served as a fighter pilot during the Korean War. As a major, he commanded the 35th Fighter-Bomber Squadron at Itazuka Air Base.[5] He also participated in the Vietnam war. By the time he retired in 1972, he was a colonel.

R.D., sister, Pansy, & wife, Barbara

He married Barbara Sutherland 1 Sep 1944 and they had seven children, some of whom were born in Japan while he was stationed there.

I remember the time R.D.'s family visited us and the kids removed their shoes when they entered the house. R.D. liked Japanese culture and built his house in Texas with a Japanese flavor. When I visited him with my grandmother, we removed our shoes inside the house.

R.D. loved his family, writing letters to the newspaper editor, and fishing. He died 28 Feb 2004 and was buried in Upper Greens Creek Cemetery.[6]

[1] Erath Co Birth Records, Bk 4a 1917-1922, #548, RD Lancaster, 7/3/1920, Warren Lancaster, farmer & Lela Loveless, 24, FHL film 1428064.
[2] "Student Council Responsible for Hilarious Good Time," The J-TAC (Stephenville, Tex.), Vol. 19, No. 1, Ed. 1, 19 Sep 1939, p 1, digital image, The Portal to Texas History, ( : accessed 14 Mar 2013), R.D. Lancaster. Also "Staff Reports Eight Hundred Yearbooks Sold,"  The J-TAC , Vol. 19, No. 6, Ed. 1, 24 Oct 1939, p 1, The Portal to Texas History,  (http:/ : accessed 14 Mar 2013), R.D. Lancaster, editor.
[3] "R.D. Lancaster Now Attending Aviation School,” The J-TAC (Stephenville, Tex.), Vol. 21, No. 21, Ed. 1, 17 Mar 1942, The Portal to Texas History ( accessed 14 Mar 2013).
[4] "R.D. Lancaster Awarded Large Number Honors, "The J-TAC (Stephenville, Tex.), Vol. 23, No. 2, Ed. 1, Tue 9 Nov 1943, The Portal to Texas History, ( : accessed 14 Mar 2013).
[5] "Military Briefs, Spouse of Flier Pens Fine Letter," Dallas Morning News, 13 Mar 1951. 
[6] “Rayburn D. Lancaster,” Star-Telegram, 2 Mar 2004.

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Lisa! I am R.D.'s daughter. I was so excited to come across your blog post today and learn a little bit about you. I live in Tampa, FL. I loved your grandmother


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