Walter J. Overend

February 27, 1920 ~ October 28, 2005 (age 85)
Walter J. Overend Walter J. Overend, age 85, died at Portsbridge Hospice on Friday, October 28, 2005 following a courageous battle with cancer. He was born on February 27, 1920, in Portland, Oregon to Paul Edmund Overend and Ruth Guilfoil Overend. He received a Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1955 and a Bachelor of Arts in French from Georgia State University in 1978. During World War II, he first served in the RAF training RAF pilots in Spitfires. When U.S. forces arrived in England, he transferred to the 31st Fighter Group of the American Air Corps and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. He participated in the invasion of North Africa, Sicily and Italy, flying air strikes over Salerno, Nipo and Anzio. He later served as Squadron Commander of the 308 Fighter Squadron, flying some 240 operational missions. Lt. Overend was the recipient of numerous medals, including the Silver Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross. After the War he was posted to Nellis Air Force Base as Squadron Commander and Deputy Group Commander of the Fighter Gunnery School. His civilian career began when he was hired by Delta Airlines as a Performance Engineer. He worked for Delta for 38 years as Manager of Performance Engineering and Programs. He was instrumental in the design of the DC-8, the DC-9, the CV880, the B-767, the B-757, and the SST. He retained his military career while at Delta as a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve, operating and flying jet fighters. After retiring from Delta, Mr. Overend became an aviation consultant. For a period of thirty years, he was a member of the SAE [Society of Automotive Engineering]. He contributed to more than twenty aerospace standards documents. In 2004, he received the Colwell Cooperative Engineering Medal for his contributions to the aviation industry. Walter is survived by his wife, Elaine Gallman and six children; Mathew, Mitchell, and Ruth Overend, Stacey, Richard and wife Holly Gallman, and Pennie and husband Michael Harris; his grandchildren; Cambra Overend, Nicholas and Tiffany Blume, McKenzie Gallman and Harry Harris. He is further survived by nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his two brothers, Donald and Edward Overend, and two sisters, Patricia French and June Conner. Relatives and friends are welcome at the McCommons Funeral Home, 109 West Broad Street, Greensboro, on Tuesday night November 1st between the hours of 6 and 8 p.m. Funeral services for Walter J. Overend will be held at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, November 2nd, at the First United Methodist Church, 202 West Broad Street, Greensboro. The Rev. Richard Chewning, will officiate. Serving as pallbearers will be Al Creel, Bill Phillips, Bob Switala, Ira McKeever, Nicholas Blume and Michael Harris. Mr. Overend will be buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, on Thursday, November 17, 2005 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Christian City, 7345 Red Oak Road, Union City, GA 30291, Ocmulgee CASA, P.O. Box 1586, Milledgeville, GA 31061 or American Cancer Society, 1684 Barnett Shoals Road, Athens, GA 30605. McCommons Funeral Home, 109 W. Broad St., Greensboro, GA, (706) 453-2626, is in charge of arrangements. Visit us at to sign the online guest register.
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