SSS Member LtCol John “Jack” Drittler, 78 Headed West

Lieutenant Colonel John “Jack” Drittler, USAF (Ret) 78 died peacefully on January 11, 2019 in Port Charlotte Florida.  A veteran of Vietnam, he completed 226 combat missions at Bien Hoa, Viet Nam, flying the F-100 Super Saber.  He earned a two Distinguished Flying Cross and 12 Air Medals for superior flying skill.

Jack was born on January 12, 1940, in Detroit Michigan to Harvon and Rosemary Drittler.  He joined the Air Force in July of 1960 and completed pilot training at Laredo AFB, Texas in May of 1967.  After Vietnam, he returned to Laredo AFB as a flight instructor.  He was transferred to Mt. Home AFB, Idaho and assigned to the 366th TFS flying F-111 F.  He also served in the 48th TFW (495th TFS) at RAF Lakenheath, UK and McClellan AFB, California where he directed all Flight Test Operations for the F-111, FB-111, A-10, and F-106.  During his USAF career, he was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses, two bronze stars, two Meritorious Service medals, 12 Air Medals and twice received the Best in TAC award.   He retired as head of the Sacramento Air Logistics Flight Test unit in May 1984.  He was best known for his superior flying skills, his fierce loyalty to his men, and his wicked sense of humor.

Jack was also a devoted husband, father, and grandfather.  He married Dorothea Buck in July 1962. They had two children: Laura and John.   After he retired he went on over 65 cruises with his wife and family.  He also enjoyed cooking and spending time with his family.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothea; his son John (Dawn); his daughter Laura; and his five grandchildren: Andrew, Melissa, Daniel, Nicholas, and Autumn.  He is preceded in death by his parents; his sisters Patricia and Judith and his younger brother William.

There will be a memorial mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Punta Gorda, FL, on January 19, 2019, at 11:00 am.  A lunch reception will be held immediately after the mass.  In lieu of flowers donations may be made in his name to Tidewell Hospice at 5955 Rand Blvd, Sarasota Fl, 34238-9989 Attn: Philanthropy Dept.  To contact the family directly emails can be sent to

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