Robert Ernest Benefiel
Combat Pilot, Math Teacher
Robert Ernest Benefiel, 85, a combat pilot in World War II and the Vietnam War and a former high school math teacher, died Aug. 8 of emphysema at his home in Temple Hills.
Mr. Benefiel was born in Hood River, Ore. He grew up in Walla Walla, Wash., where he lived in construction camps during the 1920s while his father built roads with horse-drawn equipment.
His son recalled that on Christmas Day 1936, he moved to Stratford, Conn., to live with a great-aunt who had promised to help the family during the Depression. At Stratford High School, he ran the half-mile in two minutes flat, earning him the sobriquet "the Walla Walla Wonder." He graduated as class valedictorian in 1938.
He graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York in 1942 and went to work for the helicopter division of Vought-Sikorsky. He was called to active duty with the Army Air Forces in 1943 and flew P-51D Mustangs with the 368th Fighter Squadron, 8th Air Force, including missions over the Battle of the Bulge.
He downed several German aircraft, although his most memorable mission involved a midair collision with a German Messerschmitt, which clipped off most of one wing. Because he could not swim, he had no choice but to guide the rolling, almost unmaneuverable plane over the North Sea to his base in England.
After the war, as a Reserve officer, Mr. Benefiel received a master's degree in aeronautical engineering from the California Institute of Technology. He became an Air Force technical intelligence officer at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and at the Pentagon, where he worked in the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. During the Korean War, he was the intelligence watch officer who received the news that the Chinese had crossed the Yalu River Bridge into Korea, thus entering the war.
In 1963, he was assigned to Air Force Systems Command at Andrews Air Force Base to support aircraft acquisition programs. An early participant in William Tell, the Air Force's fighter pilot school, he was deployed in 1967 to South Vietnam to fly RF4C Phantom jets for reconnaissance missions. In 1968, he returned to Air Force Systems Command to support the C-5 transport and F-15 fighter.
He retired from the military in 1970. Long interested in teaching, he received a teaching certificate from the University of Maryland a year later. He taught math at Croom High School in Upper Marlboro from 1972 to 1984.
He retired from teaching to take care of his son during a six-year struggle with brain cancer. The son, Bill Benefiel, died in 1988.
Mr. Benefiel was a crossword puzzle enthusiast, a voracious reader about the Old West and a dedicated genealogist. He also enjoyed fishing trips with a grandson.
Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Jackie Benefiel of Temple Hills; a son, Robert Ernest Benefiel Jr. of Fairfax Station; three grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; four sisters; and two brothers.
John Kenneth McLean
CIA Analyst, Stockbroker
John Kenneth McLean, 83, a retired political analyst with the Central Intelligence Agency and later a stockbroker, died of melanoma cancer Aug. 26 at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. He was a longtime Alexandria resident.
Mr. McLean was born in Buffalo and grew up in Little Rock. He graduated from Yale University in 1943.
Immediately after graduation, he enlisted in the Marine Corps. He attended the U.S. Navy Japanese Language School in Boulder, Colo., before leaving for the Pacific Theater, where he served as a Japanese language officer and fought on Iwo Jima. He received a Bronze Star.
He served in Japan during the U.S. occupation, from 1947 to 1949. He retired from the Marine Corps with the rank of major in 1957.
He joined the CIA in 1953. Fluent in Japanese, he served in Japan as a political analyst for the agency from 1956 to 1960.
After his retirement in the late 1960s, he worked as a private stockbroker for several years. He retired a second time in the early 1990s.
A world traveler, he visited more than 76 countries during his lifetime and spoke five languages. He spent part of every summer at his family home on Lake Erie in Ontario, Canada.
He founded the Alexandria Taxpayers Association and was president of the Conservative Club of Alexandria. He also was founding treasurer of the newsletter "Accuracy in Media" and a member of Belle Haven Country Club.
Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Marilyn Grobmyer McLean of Alexandria; three children, Elizabeth Humason of Hanford, Calif., Tolise Barton of Farmville, Va., and Arthur McLean of Dallas; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
William Richard Lomax
Policy and Planning Director
William Richard Lomax, 88, a retired director of policy and planning in the agency then known as the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, died Aug. 25 of congestive heart failure at Burke Health Care Center. He was a Woodbridge resident.
Mr. Lomax was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He received an undergraduate degree in music from New York University in 1939 and a master's degree in public administration from Indiana University in 1940.
He enlisted in the Navy in 1942 and was on anti-submarine duty in the North Atlantic and in New York Harbor. He later was assigned to the Marine Corps as director of civilian personnel.
After the war, he taught public administration at Indiana University before moving in 1956 to Washington, where he became director of personnel for the Federal Housing Administration. He worked for the Brookings Institution in New York City in 1962 and became chief of staff for New York Congressman Seymour Halperin in 1963.
He joined the HEW (now Health and Human Services) in 1966 and retired in 1978 as director of policy and planning.
Mr. Lomax was a member of the board of directors of the St. Andrews Society of Washington, served as the American secretary for Clan Carnegie and was a member of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Oriental, N.C. He enjoyed carpentry, writing poetry, archery, sailing and singing. He also wrote and lectured extensively in retirement.
His wife, Joan Catherine Crocker Lomax, died in 1990.
Survivors include three children, William Lorimer Lomax of Alexandria, James Carnegie Lomax of Woodbridge and Delia Lake Lomax Sage of Oriental; and seven grandchildren.
E. Bruce Miller
Civil Aviation Specialist
E. Bruce Miller, 91, retired aviation specialist, died Aug. 20 of complications from a stroke at his home in Jackson, N.H. He was a former resident of Bethesda.
Mr. Miller was born in Harrisburg, Pa., and moved to the Washington area in 1939 when he joined the Civil Aeronautics Board, a predecessor of the Federal Aviation Administration. He assisted in expediting the movement of air traffic during World War II and later in the design of U.S. domestic and international air routes, which are in use today. He served on a number of governmental interagency committees and chaired several in civil aviation and defense matters.
In 1961, he was assigned to help the government of Colombia develop an international route structure for that country's international airline.
Mr. Miller left the Civil Aeronautics Board in 1963 for the State Department. He was appointed by President John F. Kennedy as an attache in Nairobi to act as the regional civil aviation officer for the eastern half of Africa. He promoted U.S. aviation products, served as liaison officer on technical aviation assistance projects of the U.S. Agency for International Development and acted as U.S. spokesman at international civil aviation conferences.
After retiring from the Foreign Service in 1967, Mr. Miller became vice president of Systems Analysis and Research Corp., a Washington-based aviation consulting firm. He managed foreign aviation projects in Ethiopia, Egypt, Portugal and the Azores.
From 1973 to 1981, Mr. Miller was an aviation consultant to the United Nations civil aviation agency, working on technical assistance projects in Lebanon, Sudan, Turkey and Yemen in the Middle East, and in India, the Maldives, Thailand and Indonesia in the Far East.
Mr. Miller was active in church and community affairs. He belonged to Anacostia Methodist Church in the District in his early years and later to Concord-St. Andrews United Methodist in Bethesda.
He moved to Myrtle Beach, S.C., eight years ago and to Jackson last year.
Survivors include his wife of 68 years, Frances Gray Miller of Jackson; two children, Bruce Miller Jr. of Martinsburg, W.Va., and Lynn Lockard of Jackson; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Charles F. McMorrow
Charles F. McMorrow, 85, a retired engineer and scientist, died Aug. 19 of coronary artery disease at Suburban Hospital. He lived in Bethesda.
Mr. McMorrow was born in Springfield, Mass., and as a youth fought as a professional welterweight. He was a commercial radio operator since 1936 and a licensed pilot since 1941. His vocations also included being a journeyman toolmaker and diesinker. He served in the Navy during World War II.
He studied at Northeastern University in Massachusetts and graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York in 1949. He also received a master's degree in business from Drexel University and a law degree from the University of Michigan.
During his career, he was employed as an engineer, manager and director of engineering by major aerospace contractors. In 1970, he and his wife opened a consulting firm in Washington. He later joined the technical staff of Booz Allen & Hamilton and retired in 1986.
Mr. McMorrow wrote articles on computerized communication systems and the biological hazards of electromagnetic radiation.
He also pursued scientific studies in structural geology at George Washington University. He was a member of Sigma Xi, Eta Kappa Nu and the Geological Society of Washington.
Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Lillian F. McMorrow of Bethesda.
Anne Herrington Haskett
Former Teacher, Homemaker
Anne Herrington Haskett, 87, a former teacher and homemaker, died Aug. 18 of a pulmonary embolism at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. She had lived in Washington Grove for 56 years.
She was born in St. Louis and graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Syracuse University in 1939. She earned a master's degree in English literature from Radcliffe College in Massachusetts in 1942.
In the early 1940s before marrying, she taught English in several schools in New York state. In later years, she worked part time grading papers for teachers in Montgomery County.
She was a member of the League of Women Voters and the Washington Grove Woman's Club. She also was active in a book club and enjoyed nature, bird-watching and gardening. She was a longtime summer resident of Brewster, Cape Cod, Mass.
Her husband of 51 years, Richard C. Haskett, died in 1994.
Survivors include four children, Barbara H. Balasa of Newton, Mass., Nancy Haskett of Washington Grove, Sarah R. Haskett of Chapel Hill, N.C., and Richard V.H. Haskett of Germantown; a sister; and eight grandchildren.