Col. Daniel G. Gust, Retired, United States Army, died on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. It was his specific request there be no memorial service of any type.
Col. Gust was born at Camp McArthur in Waco, Texas on Jan. 9, 1919. During World War II, he was promoted from Sergeant to Major in two years. He commanded an Infantry Company in Europe, an Infantry Battalion in Korea and a Helicopter Group in Vietnam. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant Infantry in July 1942. He commanded a company in the 329th Regiment, 83rd Division through four campaigns in Europe. In December, 1944, for many USA medals awarded and wounds received in combat, he was given 50 days Rest and Recuperation Leave in the United States. He missed the Battle of the Bulge enjoying life with his wife and two children.
Col. Gust graduated from the Infantry Advanced course at Ft. Benning and the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. In 1953-54, he served as Infantry Battalion Commander and, subsequently, Executive Officer, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division in Korea. After completing the Strategic Intelligence School, he was assigned to the Assistant Chief of Staff Intelligence, Department of the Army, Washington, DC. He served the next four years as an Army General Staff Officer concerned with Research and Development projects. Col. Gust was appointed Project Officer for Drone Aircraft. After he briefed the Army Chief of Staff and the Armed Services Committees in Congress, money was appropriated for Drone Aircraft in the Army’s Eleven Division Force.
In 1961, he qualified as an Army aviator in both Fixed Wing and Rotary Wing aircraft. After receiving his wings, Col. Gust served as Division Aviation Officer in the Third Infantry Division in Germany. Returning to Fort Rucker in 1963, he became Director, Department of Advanced Fixed Wing Training. In 1964, he was selected to attend the US Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. Col. Gust graduated on June 14, 1965. His diploma was presented to him by General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Upon graduation, he served as Commander of the 2nd Brigade Advanced Infantry Training, Fort Ord, California 1965-1967.
Col. Gust arrived in Vietnam in July 1967, assigned as Deputy Commander of the First Aviation Brigade and, subsequently, Commander of the 16th Combat Aviation Group, working directly for the Marines in the five northern provinces of Vietnam. Upon completion of his tour in Vietnam, he returned to Fort Rucker as president, US Army Aviation Test Board 1968-1972. After 36 years of service, he retired Jan. 3, 1973.
Col. Gust was one of the most decorated disabled veterans in the United States Army. He was the recipient of over 60 decorations to include; Silver Star with 2 (OLC) Oak Leaf Clusters, Legion of Merit with 1 OLC, Distinguished Flying Cross with 1 OLC, Soldiers Medal, Bronze Star with 5 OLC and Valor Device, Air Medal with 15 OLC, Army Commendation Medal with 1 OLC, and Purple Heart Medal with 2 OLC. In addition to the USA medals, he receive many Campaign Awards and Foreign Decorations, to include The French highest military award, The Legion of Honour.
Col. Gust was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Stell T. Gust of Milwaukee, Wis., and his daughter, Linda Kay Phelps of Macon, N.C.
Survivors include the loving family of Joyce Granberry of Dotha; son-in-law, Gerald Phelps of Macon, N.C., son, Stephen Gust of Arlington, Tenn.; daughter, Suzi Gust of Enterprise; sister, Joan Schendel of Seattle, Wash.; four grandchildren, four great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.
To sign the register book or to send condolences to the family, please visit our website at www.searcyfuneralhome.com.
Searcy Funeral Home and Crematory, 1301 Neal Metcalf Rd., Hwy. 167 N., Enterprise, AL 36330, (334) 393-2273