Community buries YC 'patriot'
Maj. Duane William Dively, the U-2 pilot from Yuba City who died last week, was buried Thursday.
About 800 people attended a memorial service in a Beale Air Force Base hangar.
"We're such a close-knit community," said Jamie Toombs, a former U-2 pilot from Houston, Texas, who now works for Southwest Airlines. "When one of us dies or passes away, it affects all of us. We built this bond in the military, in the U-2 program specifically. It's the least we could do for a patriot."
The 90-minute service was broadcast across the base. It was closed to the media.
Dively, 43, died in a June 22 crash as he returned from an intelligence gathering mission in Afghanistan. He flew the U-2 for 10 years and was one of the most respected pilots in the program, according to Beale officials.
Dively is survived by his wife, Beth Ann, of Yuba City; his parents, William and Donata of Pennsylvania; and a brother, David.
He was remembered as a pilot, a family man, a jokester and a brave man who lived his life on the principle of faith in God.
"There were people from all over the world at this service," said Jeff Larson, a California Highway Patrol officer. "We grieve also. We hate to lose anyone in the armed forces."
Several people eulogized Dively, Larson said, and "they all had a similar story about what an outstanding person he was."
The chaplain, Lt. Col. Jim Browning, led the service with the Lord's Prayer, according to the memorial program.
The Beale Air Force Base Honor Guard presented the colors and performed "Amazing Grace" on the bagpipes.
Pastor Dave Bryan of the Church of Glad Tidings in Yuba City gave a scripture reading, according to the program.
Lt. Col. Walt Flint, commander of the 1st Reconnaissance Squadron, presented the family with a Shadow Box, which encases all of the ribbons and medals Dively received in his career. Dively was a squadron member.
The CHP led a four-mile procession from the base to Gridley-Biggs Cemetery for the graveside service. At least 100 people attended.
Air Force officials arrived in full military dress, some in the "chase" cars that follow a U-2 as it lands and assist the pilot by radioing their altitudes.
Dively received 21-gun salute as T-38s flew overhead.
Col. Larry Wells, commander of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, presented the family with an American flag.
A reception followed at the Church of Glad Tidings.
Appeal-Democrat reporter Daniel Witter can be reached at 749-4712. You may e-mail him at email@example.com. Appeal-Democrat photographer Chris Kaufman contributed to this story.