Patrol Inspector Donald Kee's official station was Mission, Texas; however, at the time of his death, he was on official detail, assigned to the Special Mobile Task Force with headquarters at McAllen, Texas. This task force was engaged in a special program conducted by the Service to bring the "wetback" situation under control.
On July 23, 1954, Patrol Inspector Kee was assigned to serve as observer during a flight wherein the aircraft worked in conjunction with ground units checking laborers on farms in the vicinity of Rio Grande City, Texas. The aircraft was piloted by William F. Buckelew.
The joint operation had resulted in ten aliens being taken into custody by the ground teams. The patrol aircraft had just made a low pass over a cotton field near the Rio Grande River and was banking to return to the field when it was seen to spin and plunge into the river. The plane burst into flames, which hampered rescue operations by officers and bystanders in the area. Several persons were hospitalized suffering from burns sustained in the rescue efforts. Patrol Inspector Kee was killed instantly. A Justice of the Peace held an inquest upon arrival at the scene of the accident and pronounced Inspector Kee dead. Pilot Buckelew was still alive when removed from the plane but was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.