Ross L. Packard
Ross L. Packard passed away on February 16, 2018 at the age of 93 in Angleton, Texas. He was born July 28, 1924 in Adams County, Wisconsin and g rew up in the Poynette, Wisconsin area.
A Graveside Service will be held Tuesday, February 20, 2018 in Angleton Cemetery.
He enlisted in the U.S. Navy at age 17 on July 21, 1947, completing Navy Boot Camp at Great Lakes, Aviation Ordnance School in Chicago, Illinois and Aerial Free Gunnery School at Jacksonville (Yellow Water), Florida. Aviation Ordanceman Third Class (AOM 3C) Packard completed flight gunnery training at DeLand, Florida and joined the Bombing Squadron VPB-129. He flew as a gunner on the PV-1 Ventura on anti-submarine patrol out of Brazil. The squadron returned to the States in the spring of 1944 for rocket training at Quonset Point., Rhode Island. In the spring of 1944 Aviation Ordanceman Second Class (AOM 2C) Packard transferred to Chincoteague, Virginia to train as gunner-bombardier on PB4Y-1, the Navy equivalent of the B-24 Liberator, and was assigned to Patrol Squadron VPB-112.
He joined a crew headed by Lt. John E. Stevenson and co-pilot Karl Ray Marrs. Hi crew position was as Bow Gunner and Aviation Ordanceman. After completing crew training the flew to North Africa by the southern route. While in North Africa they operated out of Port Lyautey, Morocco; Agadir Morocco; Oran, Algeria; and Gibraltar on anti-submarine patrols.
On January 13, 1945 the Squadron transferred to Upottery, England. A total of 27 operational missions were flown by the crew before the war in Europe ended ad the Squadron returned to the U.S. They all received the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal with 3 Gold Stars for their service.
AOM 2C Packard served in Jacksonville, Florida and the Miami Naval Air Station before being discharged January 24, 1946. Ross L. Packard married Berniece P. Borchardt on September 15, 1945 and his bride joined him in Miami for the final part of his naval tour. With the help of his beloved wife and the GI Bill, Packard attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison, earning the BS (Agriculture); the MS in Agronomy and the Ph.D. in Agronomy with a minor in Agricultural Economics. He served as an Agricultural Statistician in the USDA Crop Reporting Service at Madison, Wisconsin, Columbus, Ohio and Washington D.C. In September, 1963 he joined the Foreign Agricultural Service and served 4 years as Assistant Agricultural Attache‘ at the American Embassy in New Delhi, India; 2 years as Agricultural Officer at the American Consulate General in Bombay, India and 2 years as Agricultural Attache‘ at the American Embassy in Kinshasa, Zaire. His wife Berniece accompanied him to all post and his son Terry was with them during their tour in New Delhi.
When not overseas he served as Agricultural Economist at USDA headquarters in Washington D.C. He also served as Professional Lecturer at American University Washington D.C. from 1959 to 1962. In January, 1975, Packard was transferred to the Johnson Space Center, Houston as a USDA Manager on a joint project with NASA and NOAA, using satellite images for crop forecasting.
He was a life member of The University of Wisconsin Alumni Association, The Wisconsin Academy of Science, Arts & Letters, the National Rifle Association and The Distinguished Flying Cross Society. (As a son of DFC recipient Terry is an associate DFC Society life member)
Ross L. Packard retired on February 29, 1980 after 32 years of government service. He, is survived by his son Terry, and grandson Lee, and brother Dick and sister-in-law Sandy and many cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife Berniece, father Lance T. Packard, mother Doloris (Sines) Packard Hutchinson, step father Hugh Hutchinson, sisters Elma Bu zzell and Lucille Buzzell Kliest Shaw, brothers Levi Packard and Ralph Packard and daughter-in-law Angela (Penny) Packard.
Services conducted by Palms Funeral Home (979) 849-4343