Monday, June 6, 2011

Former AFA President, WWII Ace Gen John R. Alison Dies

It is with sadness that we announce Maj. Gen. John R. Alison, USAF (Ret.), a highly decorated World War II combat ace and Korean War veteran, died this morning at his home in Washington, D.C. He was 98 years old. 

Alison's wartime achievements include seven confirmed and numerous probable kills while flying with, and commanding, the 75th Fighter Squadron "Flying Tigers."  Additionally, he was co-commander of an Air Commando Force – the first in military history – which fought behind Japanese lines in Burma in World War II. He also is known as the father of Air Force special operations.  

After World War II he became the youngest-ever assistant secretary of commerce for aeronautics. He returned to the service during the Korean War and later retired as a two-star general in the Air Force Reserve. He also served as the national president of the Air Force Association (AFA), an independent nonprofit organization that promotes aerospace power and education, from 1954 to 1955.  He was AFA’s chairman of the board from 1955 to 1956, and remained an active, engaged director emeritus throughout his lifetime.

In 1994, he was inducted into the Air Commando Hall of Fame. And in 2005, he was enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame. 

"General Alison was one of the greatest military aviators the U.S. has ever seen and a true asset to our country. He personified the achievements and principles of the armed forces’ youngest branch through his extraordinary skill as a pilot and warrior,” said Sandy Schlitt, AFA Chairman of the Board. “We extend our sympathies to the Alison family as they remain in our thoughts and prayers.” 

“AFA had the great benefit of Gen Alison’s leadership and will truly miss this extraordinary man, who never faltered in his commitment to the ideals of this country,” said Mike Dunn, President and CEO of AFA. “He devoted his life fighting for our country, and we will always cherish the wisdoms he left behind. He was a true icon for the Air Force Association and Airmen everywhere, leaving a tremendous legacy of significant impact on the USAF.”

He will truly be missed. 

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