Historic Markers Across Florida

Major General John R. Alison (1912-2011)

Marker ID:  
Location: entrance road to Gainesville Regional Airport just east of FL 24, Gainesville, FL
County: Alachua
Coordinates: N 29° 41.248    W 082° 17.129
  29.68746666    -82.28548333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMV1AX


Major General John R. Alison (1912-2011)

John Richardson "Johnny" Alison was born in Micanopy, Florida, on November 12, 1912. He was a highly decorated flying ace and served in both theaters of World War II. Johnny Alison graduated from Gainesville High School in 1931 and the University of Florida in 1935, with a degree in industrial engineering. He joined the Army Air Corps in 1936. During WWII, Alison served with distinction in the 75th Fighter Group, the successor to the famed AVG "Flying Tigers" in the China-Burma-India Theater. On July 30, 1942, he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for downing the first enemy aircraft at night, with his experimental night interception. He was credited with seven air combat victories. He earned the Silver Star for his gallantry and fighting spirit. He was greatly admired for his flying skills and innovation. He is considered by many to be the father of Air Force Special Operations, having planned and completed numerous air commando missions supporting troops behind enemy lines.

Alison served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Aeronautics (forerunner to the FAA) under President Truman from 1947-1949 and was Chairman of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. He reenlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1950 to fight in Korea. He retired from the United States Air Force Reserve in 1972, attaining the rank of Major General. He retired as vice president of Northrop Corporation in 1994. In 2005 he was enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame. Major General John R. Alison died on June 6, 2011. The commercial terminal constructed at the Gainesville Regional Airport (1979), as well as the airport's new entrance road (2013) are dedicated in his honor.

Gainesville Regional Airport


More Information:
Wikipedia - John R. Alison