John Allen Dunaway Jr.

John Allen Dunaway Jr.

Gifts & Memorial Donations



Captain John Allen Dunaway, Jr., U.S. Navy (Retired.) died on December 13, 2023 at Patriots Colony Retirement Community after a short illness.

Capt. Dunaway was born in Atlanta, Georgia on 31 August 1930. He grew up north of the city in an area known as Buckhead in Fulton County, where, in 1947, he was graduated from North Fulton High School, having been a Cadet Captain in the Army ROTC unit and president of the Cadet Officers’ Club. At age 17 he joined the Georgia Air National Guard. He attended both the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University before entering the Naval Academy. In his junior year he was the Fourth Battalion and the 14th Company class representative and a member of the Brigade Honor Council. His senior year he was both Company Commander and Company Representative of the 14th Company and graduated with the class of 1953. During his naval career he served five tours at sea and four ashore.

At sea he has two tours in surface warfare and three in air warfare. He first served as Navigator in the destroyer BAUSELL during operations as part of Task Forces 77 and 95 off Korea, Formosa, and China. En route from BAUSELL to flight training in 1954, he married his Academy sweetheart Carole Edna Welander of Hicksville, NY. They had two children: Carole Leslie and John, III. Their marriage spanned some 19 years. Later, in the aircraft carrier INTREPID he served as Assistant Air Operations Officer and Public Affairs Officer during operations in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Caribbean.

He had three operational tours in both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets as a Naval Aviator flying off numerous aircraft carriers, most notably PRINCETON, HORNET, WASP, INTREPID, and SARATOGA. On his third tour he commanded Air Anti-Submarine Squadron 22.

Ashore, after graduating from US Naval Test Pilot School (1960) he had two tours of duty as an engineering test pilot at the then Naval Air Test Center (NATC). He was a plank owner (member of the original crew) of the Weapons Systems Test Division where he served as a project test pilot for tests of the S-2D, P-3A, and E-2A aircraft and as the test projector manager for tests of the 2P-2H, thereby earning membership in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. Subsequently, between 1972 and 1977 he was initially the NATC Staff Program Manager for Antisubmarine Warfare and Airborne Early Warning; then the last Director, Weapons Systems Test Division; and finally, the first Director, Antisubmarine Aircraft Test Directorate [progenitor of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Twenty (VX-20)]. The Directorate also functioned as the Navy’s in-house, prime contractor for shore-based, ASW command and control systems and the SARATOGA S–3A Support System. It was here in 1976 that he married Hildegard Schreck Clifford. Over the years he accumulated some 5,500 flight hours and 550 Carrier arrested landings in some fifty models of military aircraft.

He had two headquarters tours in weapon systems acquisition management: first at the Bureau of Naval Personnel as Program Manager for both Antisubmarine Warfare and three destroyer construction programs. Later at the Defense Systems Management College, as Dean of Administration, Professor of Systems Acquisition Management, and concurrently as Senior Naval Officer, Fort Belvoir Virginia.

In addition to the US Naval Academy, he was a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School (Class XXV), Armed Forces Staff College, Defense Systems Management College, US Navy School of Naval Justice, and the University of Rochester Graduate School of Management. He held special qualification designations in Aeronautical Engineering, Operations Research/Systems Analysis, and Weapons Systems Acquisition Management. He was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Navy Commendation Medal.

He retired from the Navy in 1979, having 26 years service as a commissioned officer. He then worked in the Defense Industry for some two years as a project manager before starting a small, professional services firm which supported both the Navy and some of its major defense contractors such as Booz Allen Hamilton. In addition, he taught courses in Program Management, Systems Engineering, and Test and Evaluation. In 1994 he closed his corporation and retired from business.

Over the years, he was active in both church and community service as: assistant scout master; treasurer of his children’s elementary school PTA: activities chairman of his son’s Cub Scout pack; member of his son’s Boy Scout troop committee; chairman of his church’s Outreach Committee; member of two homeowners associations as member of the boards, treasurer, and chairman of the finance committees. He enjoyed woodworking, hunting, and working with Habitat for Humanity. He was active in the shooting sports as chairman of the shotgun committee, Lafayette Gun Club of Virginia, member of the Richmond Gun Club, and in 2001 placed fifth on the Virginia Skeet Shooting Association Veteran’s Team (ages 70-79).

He is survived by his brother Marshall C. Dunaway; his daughter: Leslie D. Venable; his three grand children Caitlin V. Rudzinskas, Megan Elizabeth Venable, and Jack Peterson Dunaway; and his great-granddaughter Eliya G. Rudzinskas.


Purchase Flowers

Subscribe to this Obituary

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Tribute Wall

Please feel free to sign the guestbook or share a memory



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Be the first to sign the Tribute Wall.