HEILIGER, DONALD LESTER
RIP - 03/23/2016
Name: Donald Lester Heiliger
Rank/Branch: O4/United States Air Force, pilot
Unit: 80th TFS
Date of Birth:
Home City of Record: Madison WI
Date of Loss: 15 May 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 212900 North 1063000 East
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Other Personnel in Incident: Ben Pollard, returnee
Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw
data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA
families, published sources, interviews. 2023
REMARKS: 730218 RELEASED BY DRV
Donald Heiliger retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel. He
and his wife Cheryl resided in Wisconsin until his passing.
As many of you know, our beloved husband and father, Don, passed away
yesterday morning into the arms of his loving Savior.
A complete obituary will be in the Wisconsin State Journal on Sunday.
Also, details for the services and visitation can be found at:
Visitation will be at Gunderson Funeral Home, 5203 Monona Drive, Madison,
WI from 4pm-7pm on Sunday, March 27.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, March 28 at Holy Cross Lutheran
Church, 2670 Milwaukee Street, Madison, WI at 11am. A visitation will also
be held before the service starting at 10am.
Burial, with military rites and a missing man formation flyover, will follow
the funeral at Roselawn Memorial Park, 401 Femrite Drive, Monona, WI.
Thank you for all the love and support you have given our family during Don's
illness and hospitalizations. Don was a true patriot who loved and served
God, his country, and his family. Blessed be his memory!
Cheryl, Don Jr, Dan, and Dave
Below is a link to a video taken during the military honors and flyover from Don's funeral
earlier this week. Pallbearers were from the AIR Force ROTC Detachment 913 Flying Badgers
from which Don graduated in 1958. Military honors at the gravesite were presented by active
duty members from Luke Air Force base outside of St Louis. Four F-16 fighter jets flew over
the burial provided by the 176 Fighter Squadron Badger Air Militia, based at Truax Field in
Madison, WI. Dan Doughty, fellow POW, was in attendance as was Tom Slemons, a member
of Don's 65-F Pilot Class.
John Scocos, Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, led the pledge of
allegiance to begin the funeral. The service with six hymns, was a testimony to Don's faith,
sermon based on Mark 10:13-16, which was his favorite Bible passage to recall
in the Hanoi Hilton.
Our family is still in awe of how all the plans came together - the flags in Wisconsin at
half-staff on Monday, the missing man formation flyover, and Governor Walker's presence.
The weather cooperated with blue skies and sun shining.
Heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped with the arrangements, visited Don during his
final days, or sent their condolences/memorials.
We miss him terribly but know he is at peace.
Link to the military honors and flyover: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D5n=QGeXAdsN0
Cheryl Heiliger & Family