Laurence Alan Duaine, call sign “LAD,” began his aviation career serving his country in the Air Force in 1953. After demonstrated skill with the F-84, F-100D, he advanced to the F-105B, D, and F. Lad graduated from Fighter Weapon School, Nellis, Las Vegas, a five-and-a-half-month program which covers all aspects of combat. Lad was a natural flier, he loved every single nuance of flying, it was his passion, and personal science project. Lad was by definition, “an instinctive pilot.”
After early testing in the 105B, he was one of the first dozen to check out in the 105D and sign in at the Bitburg Air Base, Germany, ferrying a shiny, new “Thud,” from the Republic Factory on Long Island. His tour in Bitburg, Germany also produced his first two, likewise “shiny” offspring, where Lad and his wife, Janet Halstead Egen Duaine, (widow of deceased Air Force pilot, Donald Egen), birthed their first two children, Allison Kirsten and Alex Christian Duaine. LAD and Janet additionally raised his first two “bonus children,” Gregg Michael and Donna Michelle Egen.
Alan was a proficient and technical writer. In his book, “Cold Warrior,” he colorfully describes his life as a fighter in the USAF, where he flew in the Cuban Missile Crisis, readied on ‘Victor Alert,’ serving in the Cold War- amongst a litany of otherwise engaging and fascinating stories flying with his beloved Air Force brothers. This book is highly recommended for anyone interested in flying in the early days of ‘dead reckoning,’ brotherhood, or growing up in the USAF. Lad is also credited with authoring the flight manual on the F-105 at Langley-his final assignment before his exit at the Air Force. Despite having “the right stuff,” and potential of having a highly decorated Air Force career, Lad resigned Captain, outlined in detail in Cold Warrior.
After a leg in Waco building a business, “Nu-Water,” Lad finally accepted a position flying commercial ships for Braniff, 1966-1989, the final year Braniff ‘ceased operation two years before his well-earned retirement, and deregulation. Lad details this season in the second book of his aviation trilogy, “Where the High Winds Run.” This edition provides extensive insight to commercial aviation, and early Love Field, and DFW history. And it was early in this season in 1968 Lad and Janet gave birth to their 5th and final child, Jennifer Cathleen Duaine.
Lad then began his career as a contract pilot overseas before finally flying as a B-727 limo as Captain for Wedge Transport Ltd. 1994-2002. Lad ended his flying career at 72 years of age, having lived a decade in Paris, France flying for the 2nd Prime Minister of Lebanon, and various diplomats, and politicians all over the globe. This is his final work from his aviation trilogy, and his favorite, aptly named, “Hobo Pilot.”
Alan was a well-known local where he retired in historic San Antonio. He loved his home in Tobin Hill, picked for the massive Pecan tree he had always wanted, and close proximity to two favorite Mexican food eateries. Alan was a regular contestant in his living room of Jeopardy-where he regularly won but would not enter despite consistent encouragement. He is a lover of nature, bird watching, and book reading. He kept regular correspondence with old Air Force buddies, flying buddies and friends from near and far. Alan had a quirky and creative sense of humor and the rugged grit and endurance of a classic Texan. He loved his little manual 1993 convertible BMW.
Lad was 91 when he died, surrounded by 4 of his children. He died on December 18, 2022. This Sunday was the 65th anniversary of Donald Egen’s death, who died in an F-84 at take-off, he was a squadron mate and the birth father of Lad’s first two children, Gregg and Donna Egen.
Please reach out to Jennifer Duaine should you have any interest in acquiring one of Lad’s books at firstname.lastname@example.org.