Harold B. Penne
Lieutenant Colonel, United States Marine Corps
B. Penne, 90, a retired Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel who was a pilot
in World War II and the Korean War, died of pneumonia December 21, 2007.
at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital. He was a longtime resident of Fairfax County.
Colonel Penne, known as Hal, was born in Winner, South Dakota. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1940. After he completed pilot training in 1941, he was commissioned a Marine Second Lieutenant and assigned to the Naval Air Station at Pensacola, Florida, where he was an instructor.
He also was selected to join the Pensacola Thousand Aviator Study, which monitored the medical histories of 1,056 naval aviators throughout their military careers. The program was designed to develop a database of major health factors that affect pilot performance.
In 1943, he joined a Marine divebombing squadron in the South Pacific and served two combat tours in the Guadalcanal-Solomon Islands campaign. Assigned to command the squadron, he led the attack on Bougainvillea Island.
Returning with the squadron to the Marine Corps Air Station at El Toro, California, he began a program that trained pilots for combat operations. After a series of temporary assignments, he returned to the western Pacific theater. At the end of the war, he joined the staff of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing on Guam.
During the Korean War, he commanded an attack squadron and served as the executive officer of the Marine Aircraft Group. He also commanded a transport squadron.
His military decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, the Pacific Theater Campaign Ribbon with three stars and the Korean War Campaign Ribbon with one star.
Colonel Penne retired from the Marine Corps in 1962 and joined the Naval Intelligence Command, where he participated in the production of equipment that supported aircraft and weapons research and development. He also participated in the production of National Intelligence Estimates.
He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland during his military career. He also attended the Naval Post Graduate School, the Marine Amphibious Warfare School and the Armed Forces Staff Command Course in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering.
He was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Alexandria and served on the ushers team.
Colonel Penne's first wife, Barbara Hoge Penne, died in 1994.
Survivors include his wife of 12 years, Pamela
A. Doyle-Penne of Alexandria, and a sister.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Thursday February 7, 2008 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 310 S. Royal Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314. Interment with full military honors will follow at Arlington National Cemetery. A reception will follow at the Army Navy Country Club.
PENNE, HAROLD B
PENNE, BARBARA H
Posted: 26 December 2007 Updated: 8 July 2008