Alexander Dallas Bache, 79, a resident of Harrisonburg, passed away on Sunday, February 13, 2011 at Rockingham Memorial Hospital.
He was born on June 11, 1931 in San Jose, CA, the son of the late Alexander and Marie Agnes Trebaol Bache.
Alexander graduated from Bellarmine College Prepatory in San Jose, CA, in 1950 and San Jose State University in 1954 where he was a member of the Theta Chi fraternity; He received his commission through AFROTC and completed Pilot training at Williams AFB, AZ. Following a tour at USAFA as an Air Training officer, he flew F-86F with the 69th TFX, Osan AB, Korea. He was released from active duty in 1958 and flew F-2H's and A4D's with the Marine Reserve until 1962. After being recalled, Col Bache flew F-86's at Nellis AFB and was an advisor to the 514th VNAF Fighter Squadron, Bien Hoa, RVN. He was involved in the planning and then flew in the first air attack on North Vietnam. Upon his return from SEA, he was assigned to the 436th TFS, George AFB, CA to fly the F-104. During that assignment he served several TDY tours in SEA. He completed his combat experience in both aircraft by flying 256 missions with 70 over North Vietnam. In 1967, he was assigned as an Air Officer Commanding to the Fighting Fourth Sq. at the Air Force Academy. In 1970 he was assigned to the 91st TFS at RAF Bentwaters and flew the F4C.
Next was ASCS, a return to SEA in 1973 with USAG/7AF and an ATC tour as Commander, 96th FTS, Williams AFB. While at Willy his squadron provided the initial flying training for women in the USAF. Following graduation from the Air War College in 1978, Col. Bache served an Air Staff tour at the Pentagon prior to retiring in 1981.
During his extensive military career Alexander earned many medals including, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Joint Service Commendation, the Air Force Commendation, the Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon, Vietnam Legion of Honor, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross and many others.
After retiring from the Air Force, Alexander worked as a legal administrator for law firms in Washington, DC and Newark, NJ. He served as Executive Director for the Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association for many years.
Alexander loved playing bridge and attained the level of Silver Life Master and was an Accredited ACBL teacher.
On December 10, 1994 he married Linda R. Bache, who survives.
He is remembered by his surviving four children, Katie Northrop of Haymarket, VA, Gail Pyle of Charlotte, NC, Alexa Fox and Daniel Bache both of Akron, OH; nine grandchildren; sister, Marie Payne of Portland, OR; step son, Steven Runion of Sutter Creek, CA; and the mother of his children, Virginia K. Bache of Akron, OH. He was predeceased by his brother, Richard Bache.
Alexander was a loved father, son, brother, husband, grandfather and friend. He enjoyed life to the fullest and had friends all over the country and the world. He was a brave and dedicated fighter pilot, fiercely loyal to his fellow servicemen and the USAF. Alexander began his life in San Jose and started working for the family garbage business at about age 12. He didn't stop working for the next 65 years. Throughout his life, he was sustained by his Catholic faith. He loved his family and his friends. He will be greatly missed.
Memorial services will be held 11:00 AM, Saturday, February 26, 2011 at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church with Father Tom Mattingly officiating. Burial will be at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation at 811 W. Evergreen Ave., Suite 303, Chicago, IL 60642 or www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org.
Lindsey Funeral Homes and Crematory in Harrisonburg is handling arrangements and online condolences may be sent to the family at www.lindseyharrisonburg.com.