John C. Harrison



Preferred Name:
John

Nickname/Call Sign: Squirrel

Date of Birth: August 29, 1942

Highest Military Grade Held: Captain

Hometown: Detroit, MI

Biography

John’s “Stake Your Claim”:
In 1968, John flew the only solo trans Pac with his own “personal” KC-135 from Hicham AFB, Hawaii to McClellan AFB Sacramento. This was in an F-100C which was being returned to the 127th TFS at McConnell AFB in Kansas.
“I was part of the original deployment of the ANG 127th TFS return deployment from Kunsan to McConnell AFB.  However one F-100 C was grounded at Hickam AFB for an engine problem and as the only active duty USAF pilot in the squadron I was “selected” to stay with the F-100 until a replacement engine was found.  This delay turned into a 7-week stay (boondoggle) in Honolulu.
While on this deployment I was technically assigned to the unit that controlled the KC-135s and planned the deployments, but neither the 127th in Kansas or the Wing I was to return to at Kunsan controlled me…so my wife joined me in Honolulu and we had a wonderful 7-week vacation.
The problem was locating a spare engine which took weeks due to a foul up in the USAF supply system…and when the engine arrived  they had no engine stand for it to mate up to the aircraft…another delay…then when the stand arrived they did not have the necessary adapter brackets to mount the engine to the stand…another delay.
One final note…It was necessary to test fly the F-100 with the new engine and our squadron test pilot sent me the test card to fly which included a full power run in afterburner on the ground for 10 minutes.  I requested a concrete pad to perform the check but they put me on an asphalt ramp to perform the run.  It didn’t take long to burn through the asphalt and send chunks of asphalt hundreds of feet down the ramp…I was quickly ordered to shut down and moved to a concrete ramp to complete the test…I’m sure that they were glad to see me go!
As a result of our stay in Hawaii we learned to love the islands and spend  one month every year on Kauai. Life is good and I believe that the best highlights of my life were my flying  the F-100 for TAC in the USAF and my USAF Pilot training.”
After serving in the USAF, John Harrison was hired by Western Airlines, which merged with Delta Airlines in 1986.  He retired as 757/767 Captain in August 2002.
John and his wife Susan, now spend their time between Northport, MI and Sacramento, CA. He is a member of EAA Warbirds of America and served on the Warbird Board for 15 years.  He has owned  and restored  a NAA AT-6A,  a NAA T-28B and an Aero L-39C jet, and still owns and flies his 1957 H- Model Bonanza.

John won Grand Champion Warbird Award (Oshkosh) twice, for the restoration of his AT-6A in 1976, and for his T-28B in 1985.

He started the Warbird FAST formation training program now adopted by the FAA as the standard formation training program for formation flying at airshows in the U.S.

Units Assigned

  • 1967 Entered USAF, Class 67C, Reese AFB (#1 in Class)
  • 1967 Pilot Training, Luke AFB, AZ (F-100)
  • 1967-1968 355th Tactical Fighter Squadron/354th Tactical Fighter Wing, Myrtle Beach AFB, SC
  • 1968 355th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Phu Cat AB, Vietnam (F-100 -120 combat missions)
  • 127th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Kunsan AFB, South Korea
  • 6/1972 Resigned from the USAF

Awards & Decorations

Flight Info

F-100

Military Education

Civilian Education

  • 6/1965 University of Michigan
Biography

Biography

John’s “Stake Your Claim”:
In 1968, John flew the only solo trans Pac with his own “personal” KC-135 from Hicham AFB, Hawaii to McClellan AFB Sacramento. This was in an F-100C which was being returned to the 127th TFS at McConnell AFB in Kansas.
“I was part of the original deployment of the ANG 127th TFS return deployment from Kunsan to McConnell AFB.  However one F-100 C was grounded at Hickam AFB for an engine problem and as the only active duty USAF pilot in the squadron I was “selected” to stay with the F-100 until a replacement engine was found.  This delay turned into a 7-week stay (boondoggle) in Honolulu.
While on this deployment I was technically assigned to the unit that controlled the KC-135s and planned the deployments, but neither the 127th in Kansas or the Wing I was to return to at Kunsan controlled me…so my wife joined me in Honolulu and we had a wonderful 7-week vacation.
The problem was locating a spare engine which took weeks due to a foul up in the USAF supply system…and when the engine arrived  they had no engine stand for it to mate up to the aircraft…another delay…then when the stand arrived they did not have the necessary adapter brackets to mount the engine to the stand…another delay.
One final note…It was necessary to test fly the F-100 with the new engine and our squadron test pilot sent me the test card to fly which included a full power run in afterburner on the ground for 10 minutes.  I requested a concrete pad to perform the check but they put me on an asphalt ramp to perform the run.  It didn’t take long to burn through the asphalt and send chunks of asphalt hundreds of feet down the ramp…I was quickly ordered to shut down and moved to a concrete ramp to complete the test…I’m sure that they were glad to see me go!
As a result of our stay in Hawaii we learned to love the islands and spend  one month every year on Kauai. Life is good and I believe that the best highlights of my life were my flying  the F-100 for TAC in the USAF and my USAF Pilot training.”
After serving in the USAF, John Harrison was hired by Western Airlines, which merged with Delta Airlines in 1986.  He retired as 757/767 Captain in August 2002.
John and his wife Susan, now spend their time between Northport, MI and Sacramento, CA. He is a member of EAA Warbirds of America and served on the Warbird Board for 15 years.  He has owned  and restored  a NAA AT-6A,  a NAA T-28B and an Aero L-39C jet, and still owns and flies his 1957 H- Model Bonanza.

John won Grand Champion Warbird Award (Oshkosh) twice, for the restoration of his AT-6A in 1976, and for his T-28B in 1985.

He started the Warbird FAST formation training program now adopted by the FAA as the standard formation training program for formation flying at airshows in the U.S.

Units - Education - Awards - Flight Info

Units Assigned

  • 1967 Entered USAF, Class 67C, Reese AFB (#1 in Class)
  • 1967 Pilot Training, Luke AFB, AZ (F-100)
  • 1967-1968 355th Tactical Fighter Squadron/354th Tactical Fighter Wing, Myrtle Beach AFB, SC
  • 1968 355th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Phu Cat AB, Vietnam (F-100 -120 combat missions)
  • 127th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Kunsan AFB, South Korea
  • 6/1972 Resigned from the USAF

Awards & Decorations

Flight Info

F-100

Military Education

Civilian Education

  • 6/1965 University of Michigan
Photos
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