Donald was born April 26, 1929 in Michigan, North Dakota to Oscar and Eleanora (Hokanson) Karna. He attended school in Michigan, ND and at the young age of 16 enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. Donald served in the VMF 214, Black Sheep Squadron with Pappy Boyington. After his service in the Marine Corps, Donald enlisted in the Army where he served in the 7th Infantry Division in Korea and Japan.
Upon Discharge from the Army, Donald joined the Minnesota Army Guard and consequently joined the 934th Air Force Reserve at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. Donald was responsible for training loadmasters, air cargo personnel and rigging air drop loads for all aircrew training requirements.
Donald traveled extensively in the military and his private life, traveling to all but one country in the world. Donald flew many missions with the Air Force Reserve, dropping troops, military equipment and supplies for military and humanitarian reasons. This included dropping supplies in Alaska after the earthquake, dropping hay in the Dakotas for cattle or dropping troops, supplies and equipment in Thailand and Vietnam.
From Fort Snelling, Donald went to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida where he started a new unit. From Eglin, he went to Richards Gebaur Air Force Base in Missouri; when that base closed he finished his 43 year military career at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, CO as a Chief Master Sargent.
Donald was a Master Mason and a member of the Scottish York Rite and Ararat Shrine in Kansas City, MO. Donald belonged to the Ararat Flying Fez. As a private pilot, Donald flew children to the Galveston Shrine Burn Hospital, Cincinnati Burn Hospital and the St. Louis Burn Hospital. He was a member of the Cass County Shrine Club, Legion of Honor, Ballut Abyad Shrine and the Clovis Shrine Club and Cycle Corps.
We honor you, Donald Karna.