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445th family maintains three-generation legacy

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Ethan Spickler
  • 445th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Many families have connections to the military, but few families can claim the same longevity as the DeWitt family, who have had a unique connection to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the 445th Airlift Wing for three generations.

Three individual family members are currently serving in the 445th Maintenance Group.

The 445th Maintenance Group is comprised of the 445th Maintenance Squadron and the 445th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. Both are responsible for maintaining the operational capability of the wing’s nine C-17 Globemaster III aircraft.

The late Master Sgt. Raymond DeWitt Sr. served as a B-17 bottom gunnery during World War II. He retired from Wright-Patterson AFB in 1969, where he served as a nuclear weapons superintendent for the B-52.

His son, Master Sgt. Raymond DeWitt Jr., who has a military career that spans more than 20 years, continues the legacy and is currently an electrical and environmental systems (ELEN) expert, and the supervisor of the ELEN back shop of the 445th MXS.

He attributes his family’s connection and proximity to Wright-Patterson with helping him decide where to commit his time and energy.

“I wanted to continue what my father had started here at Wright-Patterson, and I wanted to serve my country,” said Master Sgt. Raymond DeWitt.

He also laid the groundwork for what his children would eventually pursue in the military. “I wanted to teach my kids to be patriotic and to understand the value of what we have while they were growing up. To see them serve re­ally makes me proud.”

When Master Sgt. De­Witt’s children were grow­ing up, they felt a similar passion for service. He has had three children serve at the 445th.

“The Air Force for me was a calling,” said Air­man 1st Class Katie De­Witt, a maintenance management production specialist with the 445th MXG. “The 445th was here, and I had the op­portunity to work with my family. I like the connec­tion and the history that my family has here.”

Airman DeWitt’s job is to help plan, sched­ule and organize the use and maintenance of air­craft engines, munitions, missiles, space systems, aerospace ground equip­ment and associated sup­port systems.

“I love the environment here. I love the responsibility as well, and with how com­plex things can get, it keeps things interesting,” said Airman DeWitt. “It also feels amazing to carry on the family legacy here. I am the first female in my family to enlist, so it’s rewarding to add that experience to our heritage as well.”

Master Sgt. DeWitt’s son, Tech. Sgt. Joshua DeWitt, is currently as­signed to the 445th AMXS as an electrical and envi­ronmental specialist. In this role, he supervises air­craft electrical and environ­mental func­tions and activ­ities aboard Air Force aircraft. Work in this career field in­cludes trouble­shooting and rewiring sys­tems that affect everything from systems to cabin pressure to engine control. The fo­cus of the job is on the electrical systems that support the environment for personnel and passen­gers inside the aircraft.

DeWitt’s son, Senior Airman Daniel DeWitt served until recently in the 445th Force Support Squadron communica­tions element. He was responsible for the criti­cal computerized systems around the wing and kept networks and equipment connected.

“Working in mainte­nance, I know that my job makes an impact,” said Master Sgt. DeWitt. “That really makes me appre­ciate everything that we have the opportunity to do. Even though I plan on retiring soon, it means a lot to me to know that the history we have with the 445th and the base, will continue to be written.