Air Force pilot, Lt. David Dinan III
last township war casualty, MIA over Laos
By Anthony Buccino
Lt. David Dinan III, 25, of Hawthorne Avenue, was killed March 17, 1969, in Laos, Southeast Asia, after he was forced to bail out of a F105 jet that had been hit by ground fire.
Lt. Dinan was a pilot from the 34th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Korat Airbase, Thailand.
During the combat mission, Dinan’s aircraft was hit by enemy fire and he ejected. His parachute was shredded when it hit trees, however, and he sustained what were believed to be fatal injuries from falling through the trees and down an embankment.
Dinan was declared killed in action/body not recovered.
After attending St. Mary’s grammar school, where he was in the Drum and Bugle Corps., and participated in Little League baseball, he entered Seton Hall Prep School. At Seton Hall, he wrote for the newspaper and lettered in track. He earned an engineering degree, with a major in physics at MIT and Stevens Institute of Technology. At MIT, Dinan was a member of Phi Kappa Beta Fraternity. He earned his commission in ROTC at Stevens Institute of Technology, where he majored in physics. He joined the Air Force in 1966.
In addition to his parents, Mrs. and Mrs. Charles Dinan, he is survived by a brother, Marine Lt. Charles Dinan, a sister Mary, and a brother John.
His fiancée, Lt. Valerie Gallulo, who he was to marry the following month, served in the Women’s Air Force. Stationed in Thailand, she served as an intelligence officer. She wrote to his parents: “David is truly a son to be proud of. I only knew him for nine short months but every moment we had together was a cherished one. He was a man and a gentleman in every sense of the word. No higher compliment could have been paid to my womanhood than when he asked me to be his wife.”
In a July 18, 1968, letter to his brothers, Johnny and Charles, Dinan wrote: “I’m sitting in a little shed on the end of the runway with a pair of binoculars and three radios to keep me company while I sit here and watch (supervise) the flying operations. Mostly it’s just boring as the dickens ‘cause most of the time there isn’t anyone landing or taking off. What I do is check the H105’s to make sure everything is normal before they take off and while they’re landing. Thank God for small favors.