John Harold Pease
December 15, 2022
John Harold PeaseNOVEMBER 3, 1919 Ė DECEMBER 15, 2022
John was born November 3rd, 1919. He was the son of John and Mary Pease. He was the oldest of three sons, James and Stephen. John moved to Boise, Idaho when he was 10 years old. His father was an engineer for the Veterans Administration.
John loved the outdoors, hunting ducks and geese and catching salmon in the Boise River not far from where he lived. John went to Boise State University for two years beginning in 1937 and played both sides of the ball on the university football team.
John was destined to become a military fighter pilot. As the winds of war began to blow, John signed up for a university flight training program at Boise State. John then joined the Army Air Force in 1939, going to Randolph Air Force base in Texas where he was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in 1940. His first assignment was in Selfridge Air Force Base in Michigan flying P-40s in 1941.
Johnís exciting life began immediately. He flew with a squadron of P-40s testing radar facilities, which were new at the time. Flying north from Palm Springs, California to Sacramento, then on to Seattle, his squadron flew into a major storm in October 1941. His engine failed, and he bailed out just south of Mt. Whitney. It took him three days to walk out. Several other pilots in his squadron lost their lives. Once back at the Palm Springs airbase, John was flying the next day in another P-40!
When WW II began, John was transferred in 1942 to fight the Japanese on the Aleutian Islands in southern Alaska, flying 88 missions until 1943. He was then transferred to Philadelphia and then to England in 1944 for the invasion of Europe. John led the first squadron to fly across the English Channel on D-day and was given a special commendation by General Omar Bradley. He flew 126 missions in Europe and was highly decorated, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross and Legion of Merit, Franceís highest decoration, and many other medals.
John had a very colorful career flying high performance aircraft from P-40ís to F-106ís. He even flew 2.2 times the speed of sound in an F-104. John led several Air Force groups such as the Division Commander of Northeastern Canada, Greenland, and Iceland. He retired in 1970 as a Colonel with 30 years of service.
John was a very brave military pilot and officer, serving his country with honor selflessly.
February 9, 2023
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