Renowned pilot, instructor inspired naming of Salute to Excellence Flight Instructor of the Year Award in his honor.

Walter Allen (W.A.) “Dub” Blessing, a flight instructor, pilot, and aircraft engine mechanic who also served in the US Marine Corps (USMC), died on Jan. 23, 2024. He was 89.

W.A. ‘Dub’ Blessing

Born on Jan. 22, 1935, in Fort Worth, Texas, Blessing served in the USMC from 1953 to 1961 as a jet engine mechanic in the 2nd Marine Air Wing and completed his helicopter flight training with the 149th Aviation Battalion of the Texas National Guard.

Blessing then joined the flight staff of Southern Airways of Texas, the civilian contractor of the US Army Primary Helicopter School at Fort Wolters, near Mineral Wells, Texas. Blessing took a position as a ground-school and flight instructor with Jet Fleet Corp. of Dallas, Texas, in December 1978, later becoming the company’s helicopter division manager. In the early 1980s, he was the personal helicopter pilot of H. Ross Perot Sr.

In 1985, Blessing was the first recipient of VAI’s Outstanding Certified Flight Instructor Award, later renamed in his honor as the Salute to Excellence W.A. “Dub” Blessing Flight Instructor of the Year Award. In 2009, VAI presented him an Honorary Lifetime Member Award. At the close of his flying career, Blessing had accumulated more than 22,000 flight hours.

Share the Story