Colonel Walter J. Boyne, USAF (Ret), an internationally recognized author and aviation historian, flew his final mission out of Silver Spring, MD on January 9. 2020. He was 90 years old and kept his quick wit and loving nature to the end. He is survived by his much loved and devoted wife Terezia “Teri” Boyne. He was the loving father of Molly Boyne, Katie Teague, Bill Boyne, Peggy Coleman and five grandchildren. Walt was predeceased by his first wife, Jeanne Quigley. Funeral Services will be held at St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Silver Spring, MD on Saturday, March 28 at 11am. He will be interred in the Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
Walter Boyne was born in East St. Louis Illinois, and enlisted in the Air Force in May, 1951. He graduated from flying school in 1952 and subsequently flew bombers in the Strategic Air Command and Air Force Systems Command. He was a veteran of the Cold War and the Vietnam War and remained a vocal exponent of air power.
He joined the National Air & Space Museum in its infancy in 1974 and rose to be the Director of the National Air & Space Museum from 1981 to 1986. While at the NASM he founded the magazine Air&Space/Smithsonian, and arranged for the transfer of land from the Federal Aviation Administration to the Smithsonian for the Udvar-Hazy facility.
Col. Boyne began his writing career in 1962, and subsequently wrote more than a thousand articles and published over 60 books. During the course of his writing career he became a familiar figure on television, doing broadcasts on all the major news and cable stations.
During his career, he received many domestic and foreign honors, including the Bronze Star, induction into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 2007, a lifetime achievement award from the Air Force Association in 2010, induction into the American Combat Airman Hall of Fame and numerous literary awards. However, his greatest reward and pleasure was his work in mentoring several hundred writers. He helped them with advice, reading and commenting on their materials, helping them become published and advising them on promotional activities.