Wendell Alcorn

Wendell Reed Alcorn

Thursday, November 23rd, 1939 - Thursday, March 12th, 2020
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Wendell Reed (Ray) Alcorn was born on November 23, 1939 near Snyderville, Pennsylvania. He departed this world at the age of 80 on March 12, 2020.

Ray graduated from the Dayton Joint High School in 1957, followed by the Pennsylvania State University in 1961. He then entered Naval Aviation Pre-Flight School and began his thirty-year Navy career. He served in various aviation squadrons aboard several carriers and numerous shore commands. He primarily flew the A-4 Skyhawk and A-7 Corsair II. He served in Command of Training Squadron 25 and Major Command of Naval Air Station (NAS) Fallon, Nevada.

Lieutenant Alcorn was forced to eject over North Vietnam and taken as a Prisoner of War while flying his 29th combat mission on December 22, 1965. After spending 2,609 days in captivity, he was released during Operation Homecoming on February 12, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized at Bethesda Naval Hospital.

As a Captain, he was head of the Tactical Air Training Branch on the staff of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Air Warfare from July 1982 to May 1985, where he was instrumental in the establishment of the Naval Strike Warfare Center (the Naval Aviation attack community version of Topgun) at NAS Fallon, Nevada. He served was Chief of Staff for the Chief of Naval Air Training at Corpus Christi, Texas, from May 1985 to July 1987. His final Navy assignment was as Dean of Students at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, where he served from June 1990 until his retirement on June 30, 1992. He received his Masters of Strategic Planning and Development at the Naval War College, and his Masters of Business Management at Salve Regina College while in Newport.

For his military service he was awarded two Silver Stars for service in combat, the Navy Air Medal, three Bronze Stars with combat notation, and two Purple Hearts among other decorations.

Upon retirement, he was employed as Assistant to the General Manager of Squaw Valley Ski Corporation, Olympic Valley, California and managed the Truckee, CA Airshow. He was Commissioner for Veterans Affairs for the State of Nevada under Governor Kenny Quinn.

Ray Alcorn was predeceased by his parents Ruth Neil and John Alcorn. He is survived by his wife of almost 35 years, Karen Zefting Alcorn; his brother Donald E. Alcorn of Montgomery, Alabama; sister Lou Alcorn Shelley and her husband Michael of Brevard; four nephews, one niece and several great-nephews and -nieces.

Memorial services will be announced. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Scholarship Fund of Brevard-Davidson River Presbyterian Church, 300 East Main Street, Brevard, NC 28712.

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Moody-Connolly Funeral Home and Crematory are caring for the family.
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CDR D.C. Hastijngs, Jr.

Posted at 11:49am
I had the honor of serving as Captain Alcorn's XO at NAS Fallon. He was always professional, strong and fair. Despite his long POW experience, he had a remarkable sense of humor and clearly enjoyed his tenure in the high desert of Nevada. He and his lovely wife Karen, presided over the vast Fallon complex, leading it to unequaled levels of excellence and the entire crew loved them. For my part, I admired Captain Alcorn immensely and treasure the memories of our days together and afternoon's at "Ruthie's."

Maren Channer

Posted at 12:27am
I had the privilege to meet Ray in the mid 80s when my brother Chris Andersen served under him in Beeville Texas. He was an impressive gentleman and leader. He was so clearly admired by those young flyers in training. He also won the heart of my parents who met him at that time.

My deepest sympathies to Ray's family and toll those who knew and served with the Captain. His kind are too few and do not come to us nearly enough.

Maren Andersen Channer

Barbara Strasser

Posted at 07:20pm
To Karen, Mike and all family members,

When Ray was at the NWC my late husband, Rear Admiral Joe Strasser, was president. It was our pleasure to know the Alcorns and Joe, particularly, was grateful for the superb job Ray did for the college. His military record was outstanding and he was an inspiration to all, and particularly the student population, for his heroism. Karen was delightful and of course Mike Shelley is a member of the outstanding class of 1963 from the USNA. To all of you I offer my personal condolences and prayers .

Barbara Strasser

Ashley Garratt

Posted at 01:07pm
Wendell was my Great Uncle and a wonderful man.i may not have known him very well but I have heard many stories and wonderful things about him as a person. Rest in Peace Uncle Wendell, I am glad you are no longer in pain.

Ichel Robertson

Posted at 09:01am
In the brief time that I knew Ray Alcorn, he taught me important lessons about faith, courage, humility, and endurance. I will never forget him and it has been an honor to call him my friend.
Michel Robertson

CAPT Roy Rogers Posted at 07:29pm

RIP CAPT Alcorn. Warrior, Hero, Leader, Great American. Mentor and friend to countless shipmates who served with and for him. A trusted Advisor to anyone who held the NAS Fallon Base CO position. God obviously needed a Wingman. Those of us who followed him will remain forever in his debt. CAPT Roy Rogers, NAS Fallon Base CO 1998-2001.

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