Wayne A. Danker, affectionately known as “Doc,” was recognized at the May Post 94 Mary Ellen Piotrowski meeting for his 70 plus years of continuous service in The American Legion.
“Doc” joined the Army Air Corps in 1943 and was trained as a radio operator in Sioux Falls, SD and a gunner on the B17 flying fortress. He went to Yuma, AZ for gunnery school and his first ride in the B17.
He was shuffled around to various air bases in the USA, finally winding up at Tyndall Air Base in Panama City, Florida. While there, he and his crew were transitioned to the newest bomber: the B29. Doc says: “I liked the B17 much better but at high altitude, flying in the B29 was better.
“As soon as my military service was over, my father, a WWI veteran and my mom, a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, marched me to the local American Legion Post and made me a member.” In his 70 years of continuous service, Doc was a member of only three posts. Doc transferred to Post 94 upon retirement. “Doc’s” last elected position was Post Senior Vice Commander and he is part of the Honor Guard.
After his military service, he received his degree in veterinarian medicine at Iowa State University and was a veterinarian for over 40 yrs. He is an honored member of the American Veterinary Association.
Doc met his wife, Lanie in 1952 at Iowa State University. They were married for 62-1/2 years and they have two boys and two girls, nine grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.
“After high school, I joined the Army and if I had not done that I do not know what would have become of me because I was a rather cocky kid. The army helped me to become responsible and was my apprenticeship into manhood.”