John B. Owen

Picture of John Owen JOHN B. (J. B.) OWEN,JR.,born March 1, 1923 in East Tennessee. Because of the influence of his father, a totally disabled veteran ofWWI, he pointed toward a military career from childhood.

Owen enlisted in the U.S. Army as a private, Infantry on graduation from high school. He was stationed at Ft. Jackson, S.C. on 7 January 1941 serving as a Staff Sergeant. One week after Pearl Harbor he was assigned to England where he served at Headquarters USAFE, London.

Owen was accepted as an Aviation Cadet in December 1942 and was returned to the states for flight training. Owen was classified a Navigator/Bombardier and flew a tour in the 12th AF in MTO. On completion of this tour he entered Pilot Training.

Owen's only opportunity to fly the P-47 was in advanced training. (The USAAF had by this time gone to fighters for advance --training instead of the T-6 followed by Fighter Transition). Owen logged approximately 120 hours in the P-47 .

He was integrated into the Regular Air Force in 1956 and served in SAC, TAC and Air Training Command. He logged approximately 5,000 total. Of these, 2,500 were in jet aircraft. (F-SO, T-33, T-39, B-47 and F-105).

Owen was assigned Operations and Training Advisor to the Commander, Royal Laos Air Force in 1961. The primary "weapons system" was the T-6 with two .30 calibre guns slung in pods under the wings. He was one of the last USAF pilots qualified in the T-6.

Though Owen flew minimum hours in the P-47, he did survive to become one of the handful who flew the Jug's great grandson, the F-105 THUNDERCHIEF.

. Colonel Owen was married to the former Veda Liner who died in 1957. He is presently married to the former Pamela Troup. Pam spent her pre-teen years growing up in wartime England. She well remembers and is grateful to this day for the timely arrival of US forces in England during the empire's greatest crisis.

Owen and his wife now live in retirement on a small farm in Calhoun, Tennessee. They train bird dogs for field trials and indulge themselves in creative writing. This hobby has led to publication of a few articles in national magazines.

Colonel Owen has been awarded the DFC, AM with 9 OLC's, the Soldiers Medal, USAF Commendation Medal and on retirement was awarded the Meritorious Achievement Medal.

List of all P47 Pilots:
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Pilot Name Biography Summary
John Abbotts P-47 transition followed at Pocatello, Idaho and Greenville, Texas after which he was assigned to the 56th Fighter Group in England. When the news of his arrival reached Berlin, Hitler retired to his bunker with his cyanide capsule and revolver. Eva found the news equally depressing.
Asa A. Adair He returned to the States in August of 1944 after participating in the invasion "D" Day. He flew P-63's, P-51's, F-80's, T-33's, F-84's, T-38's, P-47's in numerous assignments during the following twenty years in in, Japan, U.S.A. and Europe before retiring after twenty-six years of Active Duty.
Edward B. Addison The 507th Fighter Group, equipped with P-47N's, won the Presidential Unit Citation for destroying 32 Japanese aircraft in the air on one mission to Seoul, Korea. The average flying time for raids to Korea and Japan would be 7 to 9 hours flying time. In a total of 31 months, the 507th not only provided top cover for B-29's, but also dive-bombed, napalm-bombed and flew low-level on strafing missions.
Levon B. Agha-Zarian It is rumored that he, took his primary training on a flying rug. He flew Spits, briefly, in England, but as the, war moved to the East, he was sent to India as a Sgt. Pilot and first saw action from Ceylon, flying the Curtiss P.36, the Brewster Buffalo, and the Hurricane. At this point he might have opted for the rug! This was at the time of the fall of Singapore and the sinking of the Prince of Wales and the Repulse.
George N. Ahles Posted to A-20 light bomber squadron Barksdale Field, Louisiana. . Group moved to Hunter Air Base Savannah, Georgia. Qualified for Pilot training November 1940. Entered Aviation Cadets January 1942. Presented wings November 1942 class of 42-J. Married Mary Louise while in Advanced Pilot Training at Craig AFB, Selma, Alabama, September 1942.
Roy J. Aldritt Shortly after the group moved to France he ran into some unseen flak and was forced to make a nylon descent behind the lines; some evasion and a lot of luck had him back with his unit in 24 hours.
Eugene J. Amaral After graduation from Stonington High School he enlisted as an Aviation Cadet in December 1942 and was called to active duty in March, 1943. He received his wings and commission at Spence Field, Georgia as a member of the Class of 43-C.
Talmadge L. Ambrose Flew 84 missions thru VE Day, was downed by 22mm ground fire over Siefried Line. He destroyed 11 enemy aircraft, 9 known confirmed in air and on ground, including 4 FW 190-D's in one afternoon over Hanover, Germany, April 8, 1945. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, 17 man, Oak Leaf Clusters, Good Conduct Medal, Pacific Theatre and European Theatre Meda1s with 5 Battle Stars and Unit Citation Medal.
John C. Anderson After P-47 transition he was assigned to the 406th Fighter Group, 512th Fighter Squadron. (E.T .0.) He flew 56 missions through January, 1945 destroying supply routes, bridges, and railroads; he also flew close support missions with the ground forces, with attacks on tanks, artillery and enemy positions.
William Anderson It was not always flak,two ME-109's beat the hell out of me one day. The central controller called me and said "Basher-Red Leader do you have contact Bandits," I replied, "I sure do, I'll bring them over the field in 3 minutes, they're chasing me home." Got all the usual medals including two Belgium and two French but one I'm most proud of is the Silver Star -it is the greatest.
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