Arizona Air National Guard aircraft perform fly over at funeral

  • Published
  • By 161st Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
A 161st Air Refueling Wing KC-135R Stratotanker and F-16 Falcons from the 162nd Fighter Wing in Tucson fly over May 10, 2012, at the funeral services for retired Maj. Gen. Donald L. Owens.

A native of Phoenix, General Owens joined the Arizona Air National Guard as a private in 1952 and served nearly 45 years. He received his Air Force pilot's wings in 1953, along with his commission as an officer. In 1956, he became the chief of maintenance for the Phoenix Air National Guard Base at Sky Harbor International Airport, a position he held for the next 20 years.

He was responsible for the maintenance of the aircraft of the 161st Air Refueling Group. In 1977, he became the chief of base activities for the Phoenix Air National Guard Base. A year later, he became commander of the 161st Air Refueling Group. From 1983 to 1985, he was the commanding general of the Arizona Air National Guard. In 1985, he became the Adjutant General and Director of the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, a position he held until 1994. After his retirement from the Arizona Air National Guard, General Owens worked as a consultant for several defense contractors and as the Director of Military Programs for Robertson Aviation. General Owens was inducted into the Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame in 2010.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said in a press release, "For his committed service to the State of Arizona and to the United States of America, we are eternally indebted to Maj. Gen. Owens. Please join me in offering a prayer for his family, friends and fellow servicemen and women, each of whom deserves our gratitude and respect."