Lt. Col. David S. O’Neil

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Former Columbiana resident Lt. Col. David S. O’Neil (Ret) United States Air Force, 76, was recently buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Lt. Col. O’Neil died on July 2, 2017, after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was a true Vietnam War hero who proudly served his country for 24 years. During Operation Linebacker in December 1972 he was commander of the Lilac 03, B52D. After being shot up over Vietnam, he struggled and returned the bomber and crew home safely to U-Tapao. He flew a C-130 for the last civilian flight out of Vietnam as well as many other missions.

Lt. Col. O’Neil received the Silver Star, Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Medal with one Silver Star and two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Vietnam Service Medal with four Bronze Stars and the Distinguished Presidential Unit Citation among others.

Upon leaving the military, Lt. Col. O’Neil was a private pilot, flying a Beech Jet for Verco Manufacturing in Phoenix for 20 years.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph E. and Alice (Anderson) O’Neil.

Survivors include his wife, Sara (Sue) O’Neil; two stepchildren, Ryan and Jennifer Agich; and a granddaughter, all of Scottsdale; and two brothers, John (Veronica) O’Neil of Palm Harbor, Fla., and Thomas O’Neil of Salem.