David Joseph Ryan

1932 - 2016

Air Force
Korean WarVietnam War

Their Story

David Joseph Ryan was born in Douglas,[1] Nebraska, on November 19, 1932,[2] to Paul Vincent Ryan and Dorothea Adelle Trowbridge Ryan.[3] His father was a salesman for a flour mill.[4] David had one brother, Louis. In 1950, the family lived in Davenport, Iowa, and David’s father was a real estate and insurance salesman.[5]

In 1951, David was a student living in Davenport, Iowa.[6] He entered the Air Force in January 1952, completing his basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. He then gained some experience as a member of a fire department crash crew at Dow Air Force Base, in Bangor, Maine.[7] He was a private first class. In July 1954, Airman 2nd Class Ryan was assigned as a teletype operator in the Third Communications Squadron, Fifth Air Force, in Korea.[8]

He married Jean Francis Gottlieb in Moline, Illinois, in February 1957. They then resided in Chicago, Illinois.[9] He was employed at American Crane Company in Chicago and was a graduate of Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. He had served four years in the air force in Japan and Korea at that time.[10]

He married Ingeborg Ellen Menz on November 7, 1964, in Germany. She died in 2015. They had a graveside service for both David and Ingeborg on April 5, 2016, at the Rock Island National Cemetery.[11]

David reenlisted in the Air Force in June 1966 in Davenport.[12] In 1973, Staff Sergeant Ryan was a member of Top Class II Base Personnel in Europe, which was cited for outstanding achievement. He was stationed at Alconbury RAF Station, England,[13] where the 501st Combat Support Wing was based.[14]

He served 32 years in the US Air Force, serving tours in both Korea and Vietnam.

He died in Davenport, Iowa, at Ridgecrest Village at the age of 83, March 29, 2016.

NOTE: From his headstone, it appears he served in both the Army and Air Force but nothing confirming that could be found.


[1] Nebraska, U.S., Birth Ledgers, 1904-1911, Birth Index, 1912-1994 – Ancestry.com

[2] David Joseph Ryan (1932-2016) – Find a Grave Memorial

[3] David Joseph Ryan – Facts (ancestry.com)

[4] Ancestry.com – 1940 United States Federal Census

[5] 1950 United States Federal Census – Ancestry.com

[6] U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 – Ancestry.com

[7] 17 May 1952, 25 – The Daily Times at Newspapers.com

[8] 13 Jul 1954, 29 – The Daily Times at Newspapers.com

[9] 04 Feb 1957, 7 – The Dispatch at Newspapers.com

[10] 03 Feb 1957, 35 – Quad-City Times at Newspapers.com

[11] 01 Apr 2016, A10 – The Muscatine Journal at Newspapers.com

[12] 16 Jun 1966, 33 – Quad-City Times at Newspapers.com

[13] 10 Sep 1973, 3 – Quad-City Times at Newspapers.com

[14] RAF Alconbury – Wikipedia