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Category: News - Briefs Created: 06/22/2011 01:12 PM
URL(s): N/A Updated: 11/10/2012 12:54 AM
Gone West: Black Pony Plank Owner / Skipper Gil Winans
By Mike Whaley
We were saddened to learn that Captain Gilbert L. Winans, USN (Ret) passed away in mid-June at the age of 79. Gil was the first CO of the Black Ponies. We were forwarded the following notice from Scott Hornung:

    It is my sad duty to report that CAPT Gil Winans, USN (Ret.) passed away last weekend at age 79. We offer our condolences to GiI's wife, Shirlee, and their family.

    Capt Gilbert L. Winans, USN (Ret)
    Gil Winans was a plank owner of ANA Whidbey Island Squadron 40 and a regular attendee at our luncheons. Gil had two passions in life -- naval aviation and antique tractors.

    Gil was designated a Naval Aviator in 1953. His first tour was with VA-105, beginning a 14 year association with the many variants of the A-1 Skyraider. Following tours with FASRON Six, VT-2, CVA-42 (cat officer), VAW-33 and VA-176, Gil was assigned as XO of VA-43 at NAS Oceana. Gil was selected to stand up a new light attack squadron, and in October 1968 he was assigned to VS-41 for OV-10A Bronco training. On 3 January 1969, as the squadron's first commanding officer, Gil commissioned the VAL-4 Black Ponies. In March 1969: VAL-4 deployed To Vietnam and began flying combat operations from Binh Thuy and Vung Tau. After his tour in Vietnam, Gil served tours at NWL Dahlgren and Izmir Turkey. He retired from the Navy in 1976.

    Following his career in the Navy, Gil developed an avocation for the collection of antique tractors. He was a member of the Sky Valley Stock and Antique Tractor Club. On 19 June the Tractor Club will host a celebration of Gil's life from 10 am to 2 pm. The Tractor Club is located at:

    19528 Tualco Loop Road
    Monroe, WA 98272
    (2.5 miles SW of Monroe)

    If anyone has a remembrance of Gil they would like to share, you can send it to me and I will pass the remembrance on to Shirlee Winans.

    Scott Hornung
    ANA Whidbey

We extend our sincerest condolences to Gil's family and friends.

If you have any additions or corrections to this item, please let us know!

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