Colonel Archie Glen Donahue is a United States Marine Corps Ace credited with 14 confirmed aerial victories in World War II. Colonel Donahue was born on October 24, 1917.in Casper, Wyoming. Donahue dreamed of becoming a fighter pilot early in his childhood. Donahue went college at the University of Texas to study engineering, while vying for an opportunity to undergo flight training with a branch of the U.S. military – a chance that would finally come early in l941. Donahue was commissioned a second lieutenant in February 1942 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.
His first assignment was to VFM-112, posted in Norfolk, Virginia. Donahue was sent to Guadalcanal with VFM- 112 in September 1942. While there, he flew the Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat and the Vought F4U-1 Corsair.fighters. Lt. Donahue began his scoring against the Japanese by downing Zeros on two consecutive days, October 13th and 14th, 1942. Between his arrival and June 1943, Donahue shot down nine Japanese A6M Zero fighters. Donahue shot down one Zero while flying an F4F-4 Wildcat and eight Zeros while flying an F4U-1 Corsair. Donahue was reassigned to VMF-451 in June 1943. He was sent back to the United States with the task of making VMF-451 carrier qualified. VMF-451 was to become the first Marine unit assigned to the close air support role of Marine ground units.
In early February 1945, Major Donahue was sent back into action as executive officer of VFM-451. VMF-451 began combat operations from the USS Bunker Hill by carrying out a fighter sweep over Tokyo. For the next three months, VFM-451 took part in continuous bombing, strafing and close-support missions for the landings at Iwo Jima and Okinawa, and in operations against the Japanese mainland. Donahue returned to the US in May, and in July became the unit’s Commanding Officer. In all, Donahue flew about 2,500 combat hours in the Corsair, and was credited with 14 confirmed aerial victories. After the war, Colonel Donahue left active duty.
For several years Donahue operated a flight school and airport in Texas City, Texas and also worked in real estate. Col. Archie Glen Donahue resigned from the Marine Corps active reserve on May 1, 1958. In 1981 he joined the staff of the Confederate Air Force as Director of Flight Operations a position he held until 1991. Ironically, this included flying the CAF’s mock Japanese Zeros in the “Tora, Tora, Tora” segments of its air shows. Colonel Donahue was decorated with the Navy Cross, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, five Air Medals and numerous citations.