John Robert Dewenter obituary photo
 
In Memory of

John Robert Dewenter

June 10, 1927 - October 14, 2016

Obituary


DEWENTER, John Robert, U.S. Navy Retired ,89, of Powhatan, passed away Friday, October 14, 2016. Jack was always captivated by aviation. After graduation from Western Military Academy, Jack enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He entered the flight training program and received his wings in 1947. In 1949, he saw combat in the Korean conflict while serving aboard the USS Bon Homme Richard and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1951. In Vietnam, he served as Commanding Officer of VA-23 of the USS Midway in 1965 and as Air Wing Commander aboard the USS Navy...

DEWENTER, John Robert, U.S. Navy Retired ,89, of Powhatan, passed away Friday, October 14, 2016. Jack was always captivated by aviation. After graduation from Western Military Academy, Jack enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He entered the flight training program and received his wings in 1947. In 1949, he saw combat in the Korean conflict while serving aboard the USS Bon Homme Richard and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1951. In Vietnam, he served as Commanding Officer of VA-23 of the USS Midway in 1965 and as Air Wing Commander aboard the USS Navy carrier, Forrestal. The Vietnam tour was cut short by the disastrous Forrestal fire of July 29, 1967. Capt Dewenter later remarked, "One of the jets malfunctioned and released a bomb causing several explosions. We learn the true nature of the human spirit when we discover how men and women react when faced with danger and the challenge to protect what they hold dear." Dewenter's flying duty also included three years with the Navy's precision flying team, the Blue Angels. During an air show in Buffalo, N.Y., his plane's engine malfunctioned at 8000 feet. St Admiral Arleigh Burke, Chief of Naval Operations, complimented the pilot, "Your magnificent action this afternoon in landing your aircraft rather than hazarding the lives of the civilian populace reflects the highest credit on yourself, the Blue Angels, and the Navy. Well done." Jack commanded the USS Cleveland in 1970 to 1971 while deployed to the Western Pacific. His assignments included two years at the Naval Intelligence and Language Schools studying the Chinese language, duty with Commander Naval Forces Japan, United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission at Panmunjom, Korea, as a Chinese interpreter, aide to the Deputy Commander in Chief, Atlantic. He was assigned to the Department of State International Security Operations, 1972-1975, then served as the Navy Liaison Officer, Hong Kong. Capt Dewenter holds B.A. and M.S. degrees in International Affairs from George Washington University and is also a graduate of the Army War College and the National War College. His many and varied interests include playing flute, painting, photography, golf, woodcarving, and his beloved Redskins! Jack was a member of the exclusive Golden Eagles, an aviation association which accepts only 200 distinguished naval and marine aviators at any time. Jack and his first wife, the late Patricia Wilhour, had two sons and a daughter. His survivors include his son, John, and his wife, Jenny of Abu Dhabi and Chantilly; daughter, Kathryn Dewenter and her husband, Roger Kohn of Seattle, Wash.; and son, David and his wife, Cheryl of Fairfax; also, seven grandchildren. In 2000, Jack married Dale Winn. He gained two stepsons and then six step-grandchildren. Jack is also survived by his sister, Diane Grubb of Fort Myers, Fla. Jack was a member of Salisbury Country Club and Salisbury Presbyterian Church. There will be memorial services at SPC and Arlington National Cemetery. We wish to thank the staff of Spring Arbor of Salisbury for the loving care given to Capt Jack. Also, we sincerely thank Hospice At Home Care who provided Jack and Dale with many acts of kindness. Condolences may be offered at woodyfuneralhomehuguenot.com.