Donald (Don) E. Fisher, Jr., 86, passed away suddenly and peacefully on September 24, 2010 at his home in Houston, Texas. Don was born on December 18, 1923 to Donald Elton Fisher and Clara Nunn Fisher in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. His large family was hit hard by the Great Depression, but by pulling together they came through it.
He always loved people and had many friends with his outgoing personality. Don excelled in his high school studies, drama and football hi Williamsport and played football at The University of Pittsburgh ("Pitt"). He was a gifted musician on the clarinet and piano.
At the age of twenty-one years he volunteered to serve his country in WWII hi the Pacific Theater as a carrier based "Flying Leatherneck", in the United States Navy Marine Corp. He trained on the famous "Corsair Gull Wing" Fighter Plane and saw violent, but short action before the war ended in victory for the U.S. and its Allies. Don remained in the U.S. Marine Corp Reserves and was recalled to action after the Korean Conflict began. Don said the new recruits called him a "retread" but he continued with his beloved carrier based Corsair Fighter, as the new naval jet aircraft were not as versatile for low level bombing attacks in mountainous North Korean terrain. Don, with his Unit, Marine Attack Squadron 312, volunteered for a near suicide mission to launch a surprise air attack on a heavily guarded North Korean railroad tunnel in a rugged, narrow canyon being used by the enemy as a large mobile artillery base. Don was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for single handedly destroying the tunnel and all of the equipment and "enemy within" after two extremely low level passes with a seriously damaged fighter plane. Using his "football skills", Don daringly "skipped" a 500 pound bomb deep into the south tunnel entrance, thus accomplishing his assigned mission completely. He then continued with his damaged plane under blistering enemy fire, to strafe gun positions while the other members of his unit made close passes over the destroyed tunnel installation for "mop up" and naval intelligence photographs for analysis.
Don was accompanied in his plane by a seasoned war correspondent who volunteered to go on the dangerous mission. The lucky correspondent immediately wrote a widely reported description of the successful raid and, Don returned home to the U.S.A. The heated cockpit "conversations" between Don as the pilot and the correspondent flying with him during the attack run were related in detail to the undersigned "reporter" by Don, but cannot be printed now in this "family newspaper"! After returning to their base (in one piece), the correspondent declared that Don had exhibited the finest skills as an attack pilot under fire against an "impossible target" that he had ever witnessed, and he had covered the Pacific Theater during WWII as well as the Korean Conflict.
After the Korean Conflict ended, Don completed his engineering degree. Don married in Texas and started raising a family. He decided to switch professions and enrolled in and completed law school at SMU in Dallas. Don was a successful attorney in Corpus Christi, Texas and later in Houston. He was a Republican candidate for District Attorney in Nueces County, Texas during those years. He practiced law for well over fifty years. He represented several "Houston Oilers" during the Dome Stadium's hey days and was a "Sports Lawyer" for several years. In later years he became an active dispute Mediator and presented several popular seminars on the subject. He continued to successfully mediate cases until his death, having completed a case in early September 2010.
Don is survived by his beloved daughter, Claire Fisher of Chester County, Pennsylvania and his grandchildren, Chason Sordoni, Vanessa Sordoni, Winston Sordoni and Owen Sordoni all of Chester County, Pennsylvania. He is also survived by his sisters Veda, Polly and Sarah. His beloved son, Donald E. Fisher III and his beloved parents predeceased him.
Don was an accomplished horseman with a theatrical flair and rode weekly along Braes Bayou near his home. He struck an impressive pose on his huge, white maned Palomino, "Pal". Don had two horses and his beloved Brazilian Mastiff, "Zack". As a team, they gave hours of pleasure to friends and neighbors in "Woodside" as they rode through and regaled the neighborhood children and adults alike from time to time. Don would often load up his "crew" in a double horse trailer and spend a day on Matagorda Island to exercise them. Don exercised regularly and enjoyed good health most of his life.
All who knew Don considered him a true straight shooter and "diamond in the rough"... with a heart of pure gold and a deep love for his family and friends. His family overcame most of their problems and he was quite proud of his daughter, Claire, and spoke of her fondly and often through the years.
Anthony D. Sheppard Friend and "Reporter"