William K Doran
Posted By: Pat Frette (email)
Date: 1/15/2009 at 11:03:25
William Kinson "Bill" Doran, 84, died Saturday at Israel Family Hospice House in Ames, in the company of his three sons and daughters-in-law, following a long and private battle with cancer.
Born November 28, 1924 to Lant and DeElda Doran of Boone, Bill graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1947. Married that same year to the former Joan Montgomery, also from Boone, Doran shipped off to Korea in 1950, serving aboard the Sumner class destroyer Douglas H. Fox. During this tour of duty, he led a whaleboat raiding party along the North Korean coastline, charged with demolishing harbor closure nets and disrupting Sampan activity providing aid to enemy forces. This type of small boat raiding party was the first of its kind for the United States Navy in modern times and set a precedent for future operations. Known as Doran's Raiders, this effort has been documented in Military History Magazine and was the focus of an exhibition at the Smithsonian Institute. Lt. Doran was awarded the Bronze Star for these actions.
At the end of World War II and before his Korean service, Doran was stationed in Guam where he participated in War Crimes trials associated with the cannibalism of American Airmen by Japanese soldiers on the island of Chichi Jima during World War II. Due to the heinous nature of the proceedings, the military sealed the records of these trials for 50 years. Upon his retirement from a long and successful legal career in the Boone firm co-founded by his father, Doran dedicated a great deal of effort in his retirement years to securing the release of these documents via the Freedom of Information Act, and assuring that this story be told to the world. "I owed it to those boys," Doran said.
These efforts resulted in the book, Flyboys, written by James Bradley, author of the bestselling Flag of our Fathers.
A dedicated outdoorsman, Doran was a life member of the National Rifle Association and a dedicated supporter of conservation causes of all types. On safari in then-Tanganika 1962, he took the World Record East African Eland. While he hunted and fished around the world, he took the greatest satisfaction in time spent afield in Iowa and surrounding states with a dedicated and close circle of friends. In the last few decades of his life, Doran pursued the goal of becoming the best wild Turkey hunter of all time.
He is survived by his sister Jaquline Erbe of Des Moines and his former wife Joan Montgomery of Bainbridge Island, WA. He was preceded in death by his brother Dr. John Doran of Ames.
He is survived by three sons and their families: Chris and Michelle Doran, of Panora, Jeff and Debe Doran of Bainbridge Island, WA and Dan and Angela Doran of Boone. There are 6 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren in the family.
There will be no public funeral. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Israel Family Hospice House in Ames.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.starkwelin.com
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