John Alison Obituary
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In Memory of

John Richardson Alison

November 21, 1912 - June 6, 2011
Obituary

ALISON, JOHN Richardson., Major General, USAF (Ret), in Washington, D.C. on June 6, 2011. Born in Micanopy, Florida on November 21, 1912, General Alison graduated from the University of Florida in 1935. After graduation, he entered active duty with the United States Army Air Corps and served, both on active and later reserve duty with the U.S. Air Force, until his retirement in 1972. His service saw combat in World War II and senior staff positions during Korea and Viet Nam in the Strategic Air Command. In World War II, he was first assigned as assistant military attaché to Great Britain, helping British pilots transition into...
ALISON, JOHN Richardson., Major General, USAF (Ret), in Washington, D.C. on June 6, 2011. Born in Micanopy, Florida on November 21, 1912, General Alison graduated from the University of Florida in 1935. After graduation, he entered active duty with the United States Army Air Corps and served, both on active and later reserve duty with the U.S. Air Force, until his retirement in 1972. His service saw combat in World War II and senior staff positions during Korea and Viet Nam in the Strategic Air Command. In World War II, he was first assigned as assistant military attaché to Great Britain, helping British pilots transition into the Curtis P-40 fighter. He later was posted to Moscow where he administered the US-Soviet Lend-Lease Program teaching Russian pilots to fly the P-40, A-20 and B-25 Mitchell aircraft. Other early military assignments included Baghdad, Iraq and Papua, New Guinea. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, he flew active combat missions in the China-Burma-India (CBI) Theater, where he became an ace with seven confirmed and numerous probable kills. He commanded the 75th Fighter Squadron "Flying Tigers," under the command of General Claire Lee Chennault and Major (later Brigadier General) "Tex" Hill. In 1943, he was chosen by General "Hap" Arnold to serve as co-commander of the newly formed 1st Air Commando Group. He and Col. Phil Cochran later led Operation "Thursday", the aerial invasion to infiltrate behind Japanese supply lines in Burma, in support of Brig. General Orde Wingate and the British "Chindit" Special Forces. His innovative leadership of the 1st Air Commandos helped turn the tide of the Allied War effort in the CBI theater and he is widely credited as being a founder of Air Force Special Operations. For his heroic service, General Alison received the Army Distinguished Service Cross as well as numerous military decorations from the United States and from nations around the world, including the Distinguished Service Order presented by King George VI of Great Britain. Among many honors, he has been inducted into the Air Commando Hall of Fame and the National Aviation Hall of Fame. After the war, he served as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce in the Truman Administration, President & Chairman of the Board of the Air Force Association and as a Senior Vice President of the Northrop Corporation. He was a Founding Member of the Falcon Foundation and the Air Force Memorial Foundation. General Alison is survived by his wife Kathleen, two sons, John of Falls Church, Virginia and David of Phoenix, Arizona, his daughter-in-law Renate and three grandchildren, Christopher, Elizabeth and Peter Alison, also of Falls Church. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests donations to the following.


Air Force Association
1501 Lee Highway
Arlington, VA 22209-1198
AFAStaff@AFA.org
800-727-3337
www.AFA.org

Falcon Foundation
3116 Academy Drive Suite 200
USAF Academy, CO 80840-4400
Donna.Porter@FalconFoundation.org
719-33-4096
www.FalconFoundation.org

Washington Home & Community Hospice
3720 Upton Street, NW
Washington, DC 20016
www.thewashingtonhome.org
703-531-6209
202-966-3720
202-895-1060

Arrangements under the direction of Joseph Gawler's Sons Inc., Washington, DC.

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"One of The very Best Men and families I have known. A mere sliver from perfect. In Heaven crafting our vehicle to get us free from earth. Always, brillantly..." Theresa Lynne Howard (Arlington, VA)

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