AUBURN — Donald S. Webster of Palm Coast, Fla., bravely fought his final battle, and passed on to his next adventure on Jan. 6, after 91 years of a full and happy life.

He was born Aug. 5, 1919, on a farm in Massachusetts, the eldest of three children. The family moved to Auburn, where Don graduated from Edward Little High School in 1937. Don was drafted into the army in February 1941, and began his World War II adventure. He volunteered for the Army Air Corps as a technical sergeant assigned to B-17G “Hell Below” as a radio operator and gunner with the 94th Bombardment Group of the 8th Air Force operating out of Molesworth, England.

Don was flying back from his 6th bombing mission on May 29, 1943, when “Hell Below” was shot down in heavy air war over the coast of France. The last man off the flaming plane, Don put a tourniquet on a crewman’s bleeding leg and helped him out of the plane. Don bailed out but broke his back when the parachute opened, an injury that plagued him all of his life. Falling into the English Channel, he was captured by the Germans and eventually detained in the infamous Stalag 17-B for the last two years of the war. For Don, and many other airmen, it was B-17 to 17-B.

After the war, Don married and settled in Swamscott, Mass., and worked for GE in Lynn teaching jet engine operation and repair. Don kept a lobster boat in the bay and enjoyed taking his three children on weekend lobster adventures. The family moved to Robbinston in 1960, and opened “Webster’s General Store” and Animal Farm on Passamaquoddy Bay—raising bears, white-tailed deer, raccoons, crows, ravens, and other “pets.” In 1961, their fourth child was born.

Don became a “snowbird,” spending several months each year in Florida, and eventually migrated in 1980 and married Janet, his wife of 32 years. During his years in Florida, Don enjoyed golfing, sky diving, traveling to Europe and Alaska, corresponding, reading and receiving family and friends as guests.

Don met life’s challenges as a series of adventures from which to extract knowledge, learn new languages, and meet new people. His wonderful sense of humor and storytelling ability endeared him to many.

Don is survived by his loving wife, Janet Webster; his brother, Alvin Webster of Auburn; four children, Jane Brooks and her husband, Ken, of Athens, Karl Webster and Kimmel Webster, of Auburn and Dan Webster and his wife, Tracy, of Sonora, Calif.; a stepson, Sean Manniel and his wife, Veronica; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

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