Maurice Irving Ashland was born on September 1, 1922 in Clear Lake, IA and passed away on October 29, 2019 in Albuquerque, NM. His early childhood was spent on a farm during the great depression doing farm chores and attending school. With war on the horizon, Maurice joined the Army Air Corps in 1941 and completed airplane and engine mechanic schooling at Chanute, IL. He then entered pilot training and learned to fly in an open cockpit aircraft. He received his pilot wings in 1942. During 1944 he became a B-29 Aircraft Commander in the 9th Bomb Group and flew 35 missions over Japan. A notable mission was when his aircraft was the lead aircraft of a 16 B-29 formation to bomb a Japanese Kamikaze airfield.
Returning from the war in 1945, he married Betty Simon of Martel, NE. They had two children, a son named Jerry and a daughter named Janelle. Both children predeceased both Betty and Maurice at fairly young ages. Maurice attended the University of Nebraska and obtained an Architectural Degree. He achieved advanced degrees at the University of Texas (Master’s in Architectural Engineering) and a Master’s Degree in International Affairs at George Washington University. He also completed the USAF’s Air War College and achieved a Master of Environmental Planning Degree from Arizona State University. He returned for USAF active duty during the Korean Conflict and then also served in the Vietnam War flying 959 sorties as an Aircraft Command Pilot in C-123 Provider aircraft. Following duty in Vietnam, he flew KC-135 air refueling tankers. He ultimately retired as a Lieutenant Colonel having flown in excess of 9,100 flying hours in 17 different types of aircraft.
Maurice was predeceased by his wife, Betty, in May of 2019.
Graveside Services will be held Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 3:00 p.m., at Santa Fe National Cemetery.
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