Retired March 1, 1969.
John Albert Rouse was born in Rochester, N.Y., in 1915.
He received his early education in the public schools of Rochester and graduated from the John Marshall High School there. He later attended Pasadena Junior College in Pasadena, Calif., and the New York State College of Forestry in Syracuse, N.Y. He earned a bachelor of science degree at the latter institution.
Aviation Cadet Rouse reported to Randolph Field, Texas, for flying training in 1938. After completion of training there and at Kelly Field be was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Air Corps in February 1939.
He was assigned to duty at Moffett Field, Calif., where be served as pilot and in squadron officer functions until 1940 when he went to Hamilton Field, and then to Salinas Army Air Base, Calif., with the 82d Observation Squadron. Now a first lieutenant, he was transferred to the Ferry Command at Long Beach, Calif. On this assignment he f1ew LB-30s, Lockheed Hudsons and V-25s into Montreal, Canada, for transshipment to England.
He later flew B-17s at Bakersfield, Calif., with the l9th Bomb Group. Promoted to captain and then major in 1942, he assumed command of the 30th Bomb Squadron, 19th Bomb Group, in Australia.
During World War II, he lead a series of daylight raids of Flying Fortresses (B-17s) against enemy convoys in the New Guinea area. The aircraft frequently had to fight off enemy Zero fighters and often were faced with serious weather conditions. As a result of these actions, he was awarded the Silver Star.
Less than two months later he won a second Silver Star for gallantry in action displayed when he led a flight of eight B-17s on a daylight raid against Rabaul, New Britain. Despite heavy anti-aircraft fire and attack by 30 enemy fighters, the Flying Fortress formation successfully bombed the target. During the attack, enemy fire disabled one engine of Major Rouse's bomber and wounded the navigator. Although the B-17 lost a second engine before it reached its home base, Major Rouse succeeded in flying it back without assistance from his wounded navigator and brought the damaged plane in for a safe landing.
Returning to the U.S., he served as commander of the 34th Bomb Group during 1943 and then as executive officer of the Requirements Division and of AC/AS-3 of Headquarters U.S. Army Air Forces. He remained in the Pentagon until 1946 when he attended the Air Command and Staff School at Maxwell Field, Ala., as a student. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in April 1944 and to colonel in June 1948.
In September 1947 Colonel Rouse was appointed as an instructor in Organization Division at the Air Command and Staff School Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. He also served as school secretary. In late 1949 he was appointed assistant chief for the administration staff at the school. He was later named project officer to the directorate staff instructors for the command and staff school.
In January 1951 Colonel Rouse was selected to attend the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base and on Aug. 9 he was assigned as director of Operations and Training for the assistant chief of staff for Plans and Operations, Headquarters Third Air Force in Europe. He was later named assistant deputy chief of staff for Plans and Operations for that organization.
As wing executive officer, the colonel spent two years at Headquarters 3524th Combat Crew Training Wing, William Air Force Base, Ariz. In mid-July of 1956 he was named wing commander. In October of that year Colonel Rouse was appointed deputy chief of staff for Personnel at Headquarters Crew Training Air Force, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. He later assumed the position of deputy chief of staff for Plans and Operations at that headquarters.
July 1, 1957 Colonel Rouse was assigned as chief of staff for Headquarters Flying Training Air Force at Randolph. After Headquarters Air Training Command was relocated to Randolph Air Force Base, the colonel was appointed deputy chief of staff for Manpower and Organization at the headquarters. Following the redesignation of the staff sections on Dec. 15, 1958, Colonel Rouse was named deputy chief of staff for Plans, Programs and Operations Services.
On July 27, 1961 he assumed command of Pacific Air Forces Base Command (Headquarters 6486th Air Base Wing, PACAF) and the Hawaiian Air Defense Division (326th Air Division) at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.