Following the death of his wife, Dottie, on October 19, 1999, Col. Frank Halm established the Dorothy E. Halm Memorial Scholarship in her memory. Following Frank’s death in 2014, the Scholarship was renamed, the “Col. Frank & Dorothy E. Halm Memorial Scholarship.”
Born Dorothy Joseffy on October 9, 1921, Dottie Halm grew up in the Midwest, moving frequently with her parents. She graduated from East Grand Rapids High School in Michigan, and then attended Aquinas College for two years in Grand Rapids, studying music.
She transferred to the University of Michigan and attended for one semester before her father died and war broke out. She joined the WAACs in 1942 and served overseas in Naples before tuberculosis forced her to return stateside. During her treatment and recovery from tuberculosis, Dottie earned a master’s degree in speech pathology at the University of Denver. She worked in business for a while, and then joined Lowry Air Force Base as an instructor. She met Frank Halm in 1962 while working at the base, and they were married in 1964. Soon after their wedding, Dottie and Frank were transferred to Omaha, Nebraska. While there, Dottie worked at a school of nursing serving as guidance counselor. In 1968 they moved to Corvallis and Dottie returned to school at Oregon State University, working toward a degree in college student personnel services.
Beginning in 1975, Dottie served as an officer and board member of the 94th Bomb Group Memorial Association. She worked with Frank as co-editor of the Association’s quarterly publication, Nostalgic Notes, until a few weeks before her death on October 19, 1999. Dottie’s contributions to the success of the 94th Bomb Group Memorial Association were incalculable over the twenty-five years of her service. She left behind many friends throughout the United States and England.
Frank Halm was born June 8, 1922, in Whittier, California. He lived on the family’s avocado ranch until he graduated from Fullerton Union High School in 1940. When the war broke out, he applied for training as an Aviation Cadet, Army Air Force and enlisted in June of 1942. After flight training, Frank received his pilot’s wings and was commissioned on December 5, 1943. After B-17 transition school he was assigned a crew and they were sent to England in July of 1944 for service with the 94th Bomb Group.
Frank’s crew flew thirty missions before being selected for lead crew. Their last twenty missions were flown as formation leader. As a result of his lead crew experience, he was promoted to captain in January 1945, thirteen months after being commissioned. He was never shot down, but his aircraft was badly damaged once and forced to land in France. One of his crew members received a Purple Heart. Frank’s wartime decorations included the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with Four Clusters.
After the war, Frank spent nine months in southern France, involved in photographing the North African coast. Frank’s next assignment took him to Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C., for five years as an instructor pilot and an operations staff officer. He began work toward his bachelor’s degree at the University of Maryland off-campus program at Bolling. He was promoted to major, and in 1951 was assigned to USAF Europe Headquarters in Wiesbaden, Germany. While an operations staff officer there, Frank made flights to Moscow and other European capitals.
Upon his return to the United States in 1955, Frank was assigned to the University of Maryland at College Park to complete his bachelor’s degree program. In 1956, Frank was reassigned as an assistant secretary in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon. He served here for two years, then was transferred for a two-year stint with USAF headquarters, also in the Pentagon. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1959 and applied for graduate school. He earned his master’s in business administration from George Washington University in 1961.
Following graduate school, Frank was assigned to Denver’s Lowry Air Force Base as a missile site commander in the new Titan I system still being built, where he served in various positions. In 1965, he was assigned to Headquarters Strategic Air Command and promoted to colonel. After three years, he applied for an Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps job and was delighted to be assigned to Oregon State University. Frank and his wife Dottie arrived in Corvallis in 1968. Frank was rated command pilot, and while at OSU he was Professor of Aerospace Studies and the head of the Air Force ROTC program. He joined the Corvallis Rotary Club in 1968. Colonel Frank Niles Halm died Sept. 19, 2014 in Corvallis at the age of 92.
The Col. Frank & Dorothy E. Halm Memorial Scholarship Fund is endowed and will keep the memory of these veterans and their achievements alive long after the last 94th Bomb Group member is gone. The scholarship is awarded annually to one or more AFROTC students at OSU’s Aerospace Studies Department for the student’s senior year. The scholarship recognizes Frank & Dottie’s commitment to education and to helping young men and women who will serve in the armed forces.