JOSEPH ALBERT BENEZRA, MAJOR, USAF (RET)
JOSEPH ALBERT BENEZRA, MAJOR, USAF (RET) Joseph Albert Benezra, Major, USAF (Ret), died peacefully at home in Bellevue, WA on July 10th. Joe was born January 18, 1918, in Hartford, Connecticut, but moved to Seattle at a young age. Fascinated with airplanes, Joe learned to fly when he was just ten, and joined a flight club at Boeing Field while in high school. In 1940, Joe joined the Army Air Corps where he served as a flight instructor, and later a transport pilot. During WWII, Joe flew "The Hump" over the Himalayas between India and China in support of American and Chinese forces, including the famed Flying Tigers. In 1948-49, at the onset of the Cold War, Joe flew the Berlin Airlift. Both of these historic air operations were extremely dangerous but critically important. In 1950, Joe married Frances Paola, an Air Force nurse. Joe and Franny had many interesting assignments in the Air Force, including at Keesler AFB, Kirtland AFB, and Hickam AFB, where Joe flew Air/Sea Rescue. Joe retired from the USAF in 1966, after which he worked at the Pearl Harbor Navy Shipyard until he and Franny both retired to their condo in beautiful Waikiki. A few years after Franny's death in 1996, Joe returned to live in Bellevue. In 2002, Joe met and fell for Nancy Leavitt, his last love, and they shared their lives together until Joe's death. Joe was buried in Seattle with full Military Honors. He will be missed by his many friends and family who loved him dearly. Remembrances may be made to the USO.
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased