Lionel A. Danis – Colonel, United States Air Force

From a press report: Wednesday May 9th, 2001

Retired Air Force Colonel Lionel Arthur Danis, 69, of Fairfax, Virginia, formerly of North Adams, Massachusetts, died May 9, 2001, at his home of congestive heart failure. He had maintained a home in Fairfax since the early 1980s.

Born in Burlington, Vermont, on July 19, 1931, son of Charles and Lucienne Campagna Danis, he grew up in North Adams and graduated in 1949 from Drury High School, where he was a member of the track team that won the 1949 Western Massachusetts Track Finals. He also attended Assumption College in Worcester on a scholarship.

Colonel Danis was responsible for automating the targeting lists of all U.S. nuclear weapons in support of the Single Integrated Operational Plan from the late 1960s to the early 1980s.

He enlisted in 1952, was commissioned an officer in 1953, and completed navigator training. As a junior Captain at Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Michigan, he was responsible for mission planning of two B-52 Stratofortress wings during the Cuban missile crisis. In 1966, he was stationed at Strategic Air Command headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base as a target intelligence officer, after completing a tour in Vietnam.

From 1974, he was chief of the targets division at European Command in Stuttgart, Germany, where he was a liaison with NATO Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, and laid the groundwork for targeting support for ground-launched cruise missiles. He also supervised a research and development program on nuclear weapons effects and damage assessment at the Defense Nuclear Agency in Virginia.

After retiring in 1983, he worked at Unisys Corp., where he developed targeting programs for the Pentagon. He retired in 1995 for health reasons. He was awarded a number of decorations, including the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star.

Colonel Danis was a member of St. John Neumann's Church in Reston, Virginia. He was involved with many civic organizations, including as treasurer of Boy Scout Troop 324.

Survivors include his wife of 46 years, the former Eileen Noone; two daughters, Kathryn M. Condello of McLean, Va., and Moira P. Danis of New York City; five sons, Michael R. Danis of Alexandria, Patrick C. Danis of Fort Worth, Texas, Robert E. Danis and Mark J. Danis, both of New York City, and Brian Danis of Fayetteville, N.C.; three sisters, Bertha LaCourse of Burlington, Anita Reeves of Chandler, Ariz., and Rolande Maher of Windsor, Conn.; two brothers, Réne Danis of Spokane, Wash., and Paul Danis of North Adams, and six grandchildren.

Services will be Friday, June 8, at 12:45 at Fort Myer Old Post Chapel. Interment will be in Arlington National Cemetery, with full military honors. Memorial donations may be made to the Drury High School Scholarship Fund, 1130 South Church St., North Adams, MA  01247.

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