It is with heavy hearts that we share that on March 19, 2023, CWO4 David Grayson Sword (81) passed away in Alamogordo, New Mexico. He was born on September 29, 1941, in Jamestown, New York. He graduated from Torrance High School in 1959 and immediately joined the military. He served in the United States Air Force and then enlisted in the United States Army in 1963, where he honorably served until 1980, when he retired. He volunteered to go to Vietnam for four tours where he served in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) as a helicopter pilot. On tours 1st and 2nd, he served with the Aviation Brigade 48th Blue Stars. He flew the CH-34 Choctaw and UH1 Hueys Iroquois. On his 3rd and 4th tours, he flew Sky Cranes, CH-54 Tarhe. Following his retirement from the Army out of Fort Hood, Texas with the 11th ACR ECAST as the Cobra Test Manager, David was an FAA inspector and an FAA maintenance chief and worked with contractors at White Sands Missile Range and Holloman Air Force Base. He also worked with NASA and GAF on T-38’s.
David was a very active member of many organizations in the city of Alamogordo, including Breakfast Lions Club, VFW, EAA-251, The Golden Gears Car Club, the BMW Riders of New Mexico, CVMA -47-4, the Patriot Guard, the Burro Flats Volunteer Fire Department, and the American Legion Post. He was on the Board of Directors for the Armed Forces Museum. David was a member of the Blue Stars 48 AHC, and the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association.
His parents Henry and Grace Sword, his sisters Delores Grace Sword Robinson and Jamie Sword Riggan, and his brother Dale Lee preceded him in death. His wife of 54 years, Edwina Sword passed in 2016.
He is survived by his wife, Linda Zimmerle Sword; his daughter, Jeri Sword-Fehlberg and her wife Kathy, their son, Michael David Sword and his wife Robin; his stepdaughter, Brandi Zimmerle; his three grandchildren, Brandon Beightol, Heather Sword, Samantha Sword-Fehlberg and her husband Michael Rynders; his 2 great grandsons, Sylas and Kaiden Beightol; and sister, Sonya Sword.
David enjoyed flying, woodworking, camping, classic cars, motorcycles, and gardening.
The family will hold a memorial service. Please contact the family for more information. A military service will be held at the Santa Fe National Cemetery on April 3, 2023. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to your favorite charity.
The Sword family has entrusted their loved one to the care of Alamogordo Funeral Home.
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