Col John called me this aft. He told me that he was born January 28, 1922. In 1942 he enlisted in the Marine Corps and became a pilot, flying F4U Corsair aircraft in the western Pacific off Jeep Carriers. After WWII as a Capt he was assigned as the CO of VMO-6 and took the squadron into China, 1945-46. Believe he stated that they flew EOY-1 aircraft. Around this time USAF was attempting to downsize the USMC aircraft capability and the Marine Corps was ordered to shed pilots. So then Capt John was rifted to MSGT in 1949 and sent to avionics school to become an avionics NCO. Col John stated that he really enjoyed being a MSGT, and his avionics training, as it served him well later. At some point in time after 13 months of intensive avionics training MSGT John was transferred to a F4U squadron at El Toro. Upon his arrival, his CO told him, “ you might want to go down to the avionics shop, but I want you as a squadron pilot as well.” So MSGT John continued as a Naval Enlisted Pilot as well as NCOIC of avionics and began flying the F4U. At some point in time he was transferred from that billet and recommissioned as a 2nd Lt. and began flying F9F and later C-119 transports. In between various jobs he had become an embark officer as well, related to a deployment to Atsugi with F4U’s. Shortly thereafter he was promoted to major. At some point in time The Marine Corps became interested in Tactical Air Control in combat environments. Major John, with his technical knowledge in avionics was then assigned to Quantico as CO of an USMC R&D outfit to design and build air transportable radar units for TACC. Apparently after his great successes then Lt Col John had multiple commands of Marine control units doing standardization etc for Marine Control Squadrons. During an interlude Lt Col John was transferred to Danang Air Base as the CO of the H&MS and was charged with installing the Tactical Radar Control unit on Monkey Mountain. When Col John wanted to get some time in the left seat he flew flare missions in the R4D’s at night out of Danang. Later he was transferred from 1st MAW to Quantico and promoted to Colonel for his twilight tour as the CO of a school and retired in 1972. Thirty years of service. Capt to Master Sergeant to 2nd Lieutenant to Colonel. F4U Corsairs to Birddogs, back to Corsairs, to F9F’s to C-119’s to R4D flare ships. Okinawa, China, Korea, and Vietnam. He told me with a chuckle, “ They told me I would never get beyond major.”
Col John states he is feeling pretty good after turning 90 and wants to be at Quantico 17May.