John C. Ross



Preferred Name:
John

Nickname/Call Sign: Sky King

Date of Birth: January 2, 1933

Highest Military Grade Held: Lieutenant Colonel

Hometown: Dowagiac, Michigan

Biography

“I checked out in the “A” at Nellis in 1957. On the first strafe mission the IP was F/L Gordy Joy, a Canadian exchange pilot. None of us students had strafed in an F-100 so he made us a generous offer. He bet us a nickel a hole against our total score. First mission of the morning, the wind was dead calm, just as instructed–base lag over the malfunction shack—pipper on the lead-in line, walk pipper to the target, squeeze a short burst—piece of cake. Back in ops, #2 had 30+, #3 had 40+, and I had 72. F/L Joy had 20+. He was so pissed he got in his car and went home without de-briefing.
The next day, was the first ACM mission. We were given gun camera film and briefed to take pictures. Guy behind me, not yet tracking, I’m pulling so hard the G-suit is cutting me in half, and all hell breaks loose. Huge bang knocks my feet off the pedals, flame shoots out the intake, the cockpit fills with dust, and all warning lights come on.
I knew instantly what was going on. The guy behind me had hot guns and shot me down. Eased up on the G and the plane seemed fine…took a few seconds to understand my first compressor stall.
There were no external tanks, so we had fifty-minute missions. I remember coming home from “The Strip” with pockets loaded down with silver dollars as the sun peeked over Sunrise Mountain.
Great airplane, great times.”
Lt. Colonel John Ross retired from the USAF in 1973. He then became President of Tahoe Realty, Inc. in Incline Village, NV and the Tahoe-Incline Co. in Las Vegas, NV.  He is married to Joan (McDonald) with five wonderful children.

Units Assigned

  • 1954 Received commission, Observer Aviation Cadets
  • RO, Kinross AFB, MI/Goose Bay, Labrador (F-89, F-94)
  • Pilot Training with class 57Q (F-100)
  • 1958-1961 477th Fighter Bomber Squadron/481st Tactical Fighter Squadron, Cannon AFB, NM (F-100)
  • 1961-1964 531st Tactical Fighter Squadron Misawa AB, Japan (F-100)
  • 1964-1967 England AFB, LA (F-100)
  • 1967 531st Tactical Fighter Squadron, Bien Hoa AB, Vietnam (F-100)
  • 1967-1969 Fighter Weapons School, Nellis AFB (F-100)
  • 1969-1973 PACAF HQ, Hickam AFB, HI
  • TDYs at Kadena Okinawa,  Kunsan/Osan Korea, Kontum, Vietnam (FAC), Danang, and Clark Philippines
  • 1973 Retired USAF

Awards & Decorations

Flight Info

F-89
F-94
F-100 A
Flight Hours: 2500 (F-100)

Military Education

  • Pilot Training
  • 1967-1969 Fighter Weapons School

Civilian Education

  • Michigan Technological University
  • BA University of Nevada, Reno, NV
Biography

Biography

“I checked out in the “A” at Nellis in 1957. On the first strafe mission the IP was F/L Gordy Joy, a Canadian exchange pilot. None of us students had strafed in an F-100 so he made us a generous offer. He bet us a nickel a hole against our total score. First mission of the morning, the wind was dead calm, just as instructed–base lag over the malfunction shack—pipper on the lead-in line, walk pipper to the target, squeeze a short burst—piece of cake. Back in ops, #2 had 30+, #3 had 40+, and I had 72. F/L Joy had 20+. He was so pissed he got in his car and went home without de-briefing.
The next day, was the first ACM mission. We were given gun camera film and briefed to take pictures. Guy behind me, not yet tracking, I’m pulling so hard the G-suit is cutting me in half, and all hell breaks loose. Huge bang knocks my feet off the pedals, flame shoots out the intake, the cockpit fills with dust, and all warning lights come on.
I knew instantly what was going on. The guy behind me had hot guns and shot me down. Eased up on the G and the plane seemed fine…took a few seconds to understand my first compressor stall.
There were no external tanks, so we had fifty-minute missions. I remember coming home from “The Strip” with pockets loaded down with silver dollars as the sun peeked over Sunrise Mountain.
Great airplane, great times.”
Lt. Colonel John Ross retired from the USAF in 1973. He then became President of Tahoe Realty, Inc. in Incline Village, NV and the Tahoe-Incline Co. in Las Vegas, NV.  He is married to Joan (McDonald) with five wonderful children.

Units - Education - Awards - Flight Info

Units Assigned

  • 1954 Received commission, Observer Aviation Cadets
  • RO, Kinross AFB, MI/Goose Bay, Labrador (F-89, F-94)
  • Pilot Training with class 57Q (F-100)
  • 1958-1961 477th Fighter Bomber Squadron/481st Tactical Fighter Squadron, Cannon AFB, NM (F-100)
  • 1961-1964 531st Tactical Fighter Squadron Misawa AB, Japan (F-100)
  • 1964-1967 England AFB, LA (F-100)
  • 1967 531st Tactical Fighter Squadron, Bien Hoa AB, Vietnam (F-100)
  • 1967-1969 Fighter Weapons School, Nellis AFB (F-100)
  • 1969-1973 PACAF HQ, Hickam AFB, HI
  • TDYs at Kadena Okinawa,  Kunsan/Osan Korea, Kontum, Vietnam (FAC), Danang, and Clark Philippines
  • 1973 Retired USAF

Awards & Decorations

Flight Info

F-89
F-94
F-100 A
Flight Hours: 2500 (F-100)

Military Education

  • Pilot Training
  • 1967-1969 Fighter Weapons School

Civilian Education

  • Michigan Technological University
  • BA University of Nevada, Reno, NV
Photos
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