Retired Brig. Gen. Russell G. Ogan, 89, of Lake Suzy, Fla., passed away Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, with his family by his side.
Russell was born in Reading, Pa., in 1923, to John and Edna Ogan.
In November 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, and was later transferred to the Aviation Cadet program, through which he received his pilot wings and commission as Second Lieutenant in February 1944. During World War II, he flew 62 combat missions as a P-47 pilot with the 371st Fighter Group in the European Theatre of Operations. In June 1971, he was assigned as Deputy Director, Personnel Programs, Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. He assumed duties as Director, Prisoner of War and Missing in Action Affairs, in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (International Security Affairs) in June 1972.
He received the Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award given during peacetime to a member of the armed forces, for a POW flight that was the highlight of his career. He received the Meritorious Service Medal and two Air Force Commendation Medals for superior performance of duty while in the military. He retired from military service in 1974. His second passion was golf, and he was a founding member of the Kingsway Country Club in Lake Suzy.
He is survived by his high school sweetheart, Gloria Withers Ogan, whom he married in October 1943; son, Russell L. (Kathi) Ogan of Fort Myers, Fla.; cherished grandchildren, Ryan Ogan, Kaitlyn Ogan and Scott Harkins; and brother, Bill. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Suzy Ogan (Greg) Gunn; his parents; and sister, Betty.
A Memorial Service will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, at Kingsway Country Club, 13625 S.W. Kingsway Circle, Lake Suzy. He will be laid to rest with honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. Memorial contributions can be made to the charity of your choice. Please visit www.kays-ponger.com to leave the family condolences and to sign the online guestbook.
Arrangements are by Kays-Ponger & Uselton Funeral Homes.