Duane Lawrence Heisinger

Duane Heisinger, 75, died peacefully at home in Centreville, Virginia, on May 1, 2006, after fighting lung cancer for one year.  A native of Selma, California, Duane attended Fresno State University and served in the Air Force before receiving an appointment to the Academy.  He was the Commander of 7th Company.  He married Judith Elaine Spencer of College Park, Maryland, in 1957, and they raised three daughters.


Duane served on the NICHOLAS, was XO on the ENDURANCE and the BUCKLEY, and commanded the OUTAGAMIE COUNTY and the CHEVALIER.  As an intelligence subspecialist, his assignments included attaché positions in Sri Lanka and London, three years in Japan, and a stint with NATO in Norway.  His final assignment was with the U.S. Intelligence Community Staff.


After retiring as a Captain in 1985, Duane worked as a DoD contractor.  He also spent 10 years researching a book about his father, a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army’s JAG Corps who died in 1945.  Samuel Lawrence Heisinger, captured in the Philippines in 1942, was on one of the last prison ships bound for Japan when it was bombed in Takao, Formosa, by U.S. pilots unaware of the vessel’s cargo.  Duane’s book, “Father Found” (2003), and the people he met in the process of his research, influenced him to plan, support, and give the keynote dedication speech for the Hellships Memorial in Subic Bay in January 2006.


Duane was active in his church and community and in several groups involving the survivors and descendants of POWs.