David Earl Russell, Lieutenant Colonel, United States Armu (Retired) of Annapolis, Maryland, died on Sunday, January 11, 2009, at Anne Arundel Medical Center surrounded by his loving family and friends. He was the brother of Jacqueline L. Russell of Redding, California.
Colonel Russell was born in Los Angeles, California on Aug. 31, 1940, the son of the late John J. Russell and Oneida Lee (Favinger) Russell of Redding, California.
Colonel Russell was commissioned in 1964 as a regular Army Second Lieutenant from Providence College where he was a Distinguished Military Graduate. His long and distinguished career included assignments as an Armor Company commander in Germany, senior advisor to a Vietnamese Ranger Battalion, the commander of A Troop, 3/17th Air Cavalry (“Silver Spurs”), and secretary of the General Staff, 1st Aviation Brigade, Republic of Vietnam.
From 1973-1975, Colonel Russell and his family were posted to the American Embassy in Vientiane, Laos, where he was the Assistant Army Attaché, a diplomatic position. Following his return from Laos, he served in myriad positions including: Commander, U.S. Army Special Research Detachment at the National Security Agency (NSA); director, Department of Joint and Combined Operations, and professor of Middle Eastern Studies — both at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Colonel Russell’s military honors included the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with Combat “V” (22 awards), Bronze Star (4 awards), Meritorious Service Medal (4 awards), Master Army Aviator Wings, Parachute Badge, the Ranger Tab, and numerous other awards and decorations.
After retiring from the Army in 1984, Colonel Russell co-founded American Flight Group, Inc., in Annapolis, Maryland, an executive aircraft charter airline. He later became the company’s president and CEO, as well as a chief pilot for the company, which operated through 2006.
Colonel Russell earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Providence College, his master’s in political science (Arab World Studies) from the University of Rhode Island, and his master’s in naval arts and sciences from the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. He also attended the Defense Language Institute, Monterey, California, where he studied Modern Standard Arabic and French.
Colonel Russell had a great love and passion for aviation, opera, classical music, Broadway show tunes, sailing, the City of Annapolis, the Naval Academy Midshipman to whom he opened his heart and home, and most importantly, for his four children and the many people who called “the Colonel” their friend, his family said.
Besides his sister of Redding, Colonel Russell is survived by his daughter, Kimberlee Russell Fleming of Marathon, Florida; his three sons, John D. Russell of St. Petersburg, Florida, Colin F. Russell and Dennis C. Russell of Annapolis, Maryland; his aunt, his sister-in-law, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded by his brother Linwood Russell and his sisters Deborah Russell and Teresa Russell Cavoretto.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. John Neumann Catholic Church, 620 North Bestgate Road, Annapolis, Maryland 21401 on January 16, 2009, at 1 p.m.
A graveside service with full military honors will be held at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, on Monday, April 13, 2009, at 11 a.m. Those wishing to attend are asked to assemble at the Cemetery Administration Building by 10:30 a.m. for transportation to the gravesite.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made in Colonel Russell’s memory to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8517.
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard