Col. John (Jack) M. Wilson, Jr. graduated from the University of Minnesota and was commissioned through AFROTC on June 11, 1960. He attended Primary Pilot Training in the T-37 at Webb AFB, TX in Class 62F and Basic Pilot Training in the T-38 at Randolph AFB, TX in Class 62FZ (T-38 Test Class) and was awarded his wings in March 1962. He then went to F-102 training at Perrin AFB, TX.
His first operational assignment was to the 40th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (FIS) at Yokota AB, Japan flying the F-102. The 40th FIS moved to Eglin AFB, FL in June 1965, to become the 40th Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS) and he converted to the F-4C and later the F-4D as an Aircraft Commander. Jack moved to the 4th TFS in January 1967 and deployed to Ubon RTAFB, Thailand in July 1967 where they became the 435th TFS. He was one of eight crews selected for the Combat FOT&E of the AGM-62 Walleye TV Guided Glide Bomb. He completed 100 missions over North Vietnam in June 1968 and returned to the CONUS as an F-4 Instructor Pilot in the 68th TFTS (later becoming the 4535th TFTS) at George AFB, CA.
He left active duty in October 1969 to work at the Link Flight Simulator Company in Binghamton, NY designing and integrating fighter simulators and visual systems. He joined the 136th TFS, 107th TFG, NYANG, to fly the F-100C at Niagara Falls IAP, NY. In 1972, he converted to the F-101B and the unit became the 136th FIS. In the fall of 1973, he moved to Dayton, OH, to work at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH. He joined the 162nd TFS, 178th TFG, OHANG, at Springfield, OH, to fly the F-100D. In the summer of 1978, he and the unit converted to the A-7D. In the summer of 1980, he was medically grounded and continued with the 178th TFG as Chief of Operations Plans.
In 1982, he became an IMA at the Wright Aeronautical Laboratories later becoming the Commander of the Wright Laboratory Reservists. He retired in June of 1991.