Walter R. (Ray) Danner
25 February 1944
6 January 2005
Ray Danner passed away suddenly on 6 January 2005. He was found deceased, at home, by co-workers when he did not report for work that morning. (He left work at the normal time (4:30pm) in good spirits and with no complaints of illness. He was expected to call his mother that evening about 7:30pm but did not.)
Ray is survived by his mother Louise Danner and a brother Charles (Ronnie) Danner both of Danburg, Georgia. Ray's father, Benjamin Walter Danner, preceded Ray in death on 22 February 1986.
Walter Ray Danner was born in Washington, Georgia on 25 February 1944.
At the time of his birth, Ray's father was on active duty in the US Army, serving in India.
Later, his parents ran a country store in Danburg, Georgia.
Ray graduated from Washington High School in the spring of 1963.
After a brief period at Georgia Tech, Ray joined the US Air Force on 6 April 1964.
Ray received basic training at Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas and attended electronics tech school at Keesler AFB, Biloxi, Mississippi.
He was posted briefly at Kelly AFB, back in San Antonio, and then deployed to Peshawar, Pakistan, circa December 1965 where he was a ground collection operator.
Ray served in a number of important overseas assignments, including Hof, Germany, as well as a tour of duty in Southeast Asia…assigned to an intelligence operations in Thailand.
By 1975, Ray was flying as a “Super OP” aboard the Rivet Joint aircraft, assigned to the 6916th ESS located at Hellenikon AB, Athens, Greece.
Ray then moved to the 6988 ESS, RAF Mildenhall, UK where he was the lead Special Signals Operator for the Block III Rivet Joint upgrade.
He also served as a Special Signals Instructor, and was the lead evaluator.
In 1982 Ray returned to Headquarters, Electronic Security Command (now Air Intelligence Agency), San Antonio, Texas as the chief evaluator for all Special Signals operators and headed the DOV program.
On 1 May 1986, two months after the death of his father, Ray retired from the Air Force as a Senior Master Sergeant with over 22 years service.
Ray joined E-Systems (now L-3 Communications).. on 16 September 1986 and served on the Rivet Joint Block III upgrade for approximately 3 months. Ray then accepted a change in assignment to support Cobra Ball as an E-Systems QUICK LOOK data analyst and was assigned to Shemya Island. (His assignment at Shemya consisted of a 3 month on/3 month off rotation. He and Ray Meador rotated in and out of Shemya. During the 3 months off, he worked at Greenville while Ray Meador would be stationed at Shemya, and then they would switch.)
In 1993 the Cobra Ball QUICK LOOK analysis lab at Shemya was closed and Ray returned to Greenville, Texas where Ray continued to serve effectively as E-Systems transitioned to Raytheon, and finally to L-3 Communications. Ray filled out his last log entry on 5 January 2005 and will always be remembered as a man who finished strong.
Note: The original obituary for Ray was provided to me by Darr King. John Salser, Cobra Ball Analysis Laboratory, L-3 Communications, Greenville, Texas, provided a couple of minor corrections to the original and we have updated Ray's obituary. John's comments about Ray's passing appear in the first paragraph in parentheses. Another addendum is included in the paragraph beginning "Ray joined E-Systems...", also in parentheses.
Thanks to both Darr and John for this information.