Hall of Fame Inductee

Donald Cacic

Born: 08/05/1931
Died: 10/15/2004
Inducted: 10/21/2017

Don moved from Lyons, Illinois, with his family to a farm near Montello, Wisconsin, in March 1946. He learned to fly at LaGrange Field earning his private pilot certificate at age 17. He enlisted in the USAF in 1950. Don first served as a gunner, later becoming an officer and pilot flying the Douglas B-26 Invader, and Boeing B-29 Superfortress.

Cacic flew as an instructor pilot with the 122nd Bombardment Wing, as part of the 4400th Combat Crew Training Group, Ninth Air Force (TAC) at Langley Air Force Base. On one of his training flights a B-26 had an issue with its nose gear on takeoff, causing the aircraft to cartwheel and catch fire. Don survived with burns, the student did not survive.

Don flew two tours during the Korean War flying the B-26 while stationed at Pusan-East Air Base (K-9), South Korea with the 17th Bomb Group, and the North American P-51. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (multiple), Purple Heart, Good Conduct, and the United Nations Service Medals. His military service included time with Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin Air National Guard units.

Cacic returned home in 1955 and became active in the Wisconsin Wing of the Civil Air Patrol in 1955. He attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Don earned the FAA’s Mechanic Certificate with Airframe and Powerplant ratings (A&P) and the Inspection Authorization (IA).

In 1989 Don was named airport manager at the Alexander Field-South County Airport (ISW) in Wisconsin Rapids. He ran the FBO providing fuel service, aircraft maintenance, flight instruction, and aircraft rental. He retired in 1999.

Over the years Don owned more than 40 aircraft, restoring many of them.


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