Deceased June 29, 2014
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I am sorry to report that Dave Oakes passed away June 29 after a short illness. He is survived by his wife, two sons and three grandchildren. He will be sorely missed by members of his immediate and extended family and many friends.
Dave enlisted in the U.S. Air Force soon after he graduated from Amherst. He trained as a fighter pilot and flew 100 combat missions in the Korean War. He had received a regular commission and stayed in the Air Force until he retired after 27 years of service. He had a number of “Cold War” assignments before flying 162 combat missions in Vietnam. He was awarded four Distinguished Flying Crosses, 14 Air Medals and a Bronze Star and attained the rank of colonel. His last assignment was as a base commander.
Following retirement he worked in real estate and property management, but, above all, he played golf.
Dave loved Amherst and cherished the memories of his friends at Amherst and Smith, Chi Psi and four years of football. But he felt abandoned by his college when he was serving his country and all the antiwar activities were going on in Amherst. Sadly, he carried that hurt to his grave.
Chandler Oakes ’49