Died Aug. 24, 1994.
John Jackson O'Hara was born in Diboll, Texas, in 1905. He graduated number one in his class, from Allen Academy, Bryan, Texas, in 1924 and attended Southern Methodist University for one year. In 1925 he received a congressional appointment from Second District of Texas to the U.S. Military Academy. He graduated in 1929, 117 in a class of 299, and was commissioned a second lieutenant of Field Artillery.
General O'Hara's first assignment was that of a student pilot at Brooks Field, Texas. In October 1930 he received his pilot's wings at Kelly Field, Texas, and today is rated command pilot. He transferred to the Air Corps Dec. 11, 1930.
General O'Hara's first assignment after receiving his wings was to France Field, Canal Zone, where he served with the 27th and 78th pursuit squadrons successively.
In January 1933 General O'Hara was transferred to Brooks Field, Texas, where he served with the 12th Observation Group until May 1937. He had two periods of temporary duty during this tour; one with the Civilian Conservation Corps at Camp Bullis, Texas, from July to September 1933, and the other with the Army Air Mail Operations at Chicago, Ill., from March to June 1934.
General O'Hara returned to the Canal Zone in May 1937 for duty as commanding officer of the 24th Pursuit Squadron (unit of first assignment as pilot in 1930) at Albrook Field. In July 1939 he was assigned to March Field, Calif., where he served with the 17th Attack Group and the 34th Attack Squadron (converted to 17th Bomb Group at March). He moved with the 17th Bomb Group to McChard Field, Wash., in March 1940, and a year later again moved with that group to Pendleton Field, Ore.
He served with the 17th Bomb Group, first as commander 34th Squadron, and later as group executive. These were days of intensive activity as the 17th Attack Group was converted to a bomb group at March Field and later formed the nucleus for two additional groups while at McChard Field. This was the first group to be equipped with the B-25 aircraft and later furnished almost all the personnel for the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo.
In December 194l General O'Hara was appointed assistant chief of staff for operations of the 11 Air Service Area Command at Spokane, Wash., and in November 1942 became chief of staff. In January 1943 he was named assistant to the chief of the Personnel and Training Division of the Air Service Command at Patterson Field, Ohio.
General O'Hara was assigned as commander of the 402nd Air Depot in the United Kingdom in June 1943. He became chief of the Plans and Statistics Office (later Plans and Operations) of the IX Air Service Command in the European Theater in October 1943. This is the organization that planned and provided logistical support for the U.S. air effort in the Normandy invasion and the advance across France into Germany. In recognition of his efforts during this period he was awarded the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star, as well as French Croix de Guerre with Palm and Luxembourg Croix de Guerre.
General O'Hara served as deputy chief of the Supply Division in the Office of the Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Materiel at AAF headquarters, Washington, D.C., from April 1946 until he entered the National War College in September 1946. He graduated in June l947 and was assigned as senior Air Force member Logistics Plans Group, Joint Staff, and Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this position he was involved in developing many of the basic plans and concepts of unified command and cooperation between the three services which have been the foundation for a more effective defense establishment.
General O'Hara, in April 1949, was named chief of the Air Force Logistics Section of the Joint Planning Board in London, England. This board, under CINCNELM, was responsible for combined planning with the British for operations in an important area.
In January 1950 he was appointed chief, Air Force Section Military Assistance Program Advisory Group of the Joint American Military Advisory Group in London. He here had staff supervision of the Air Force aspects of the Military Assistance Program in all NATO countries.
Cabinet making; fishing; needle work.
Member of Protestant Church and serving on Vestry of St. Paul's Church in Rome.
DECORATIONS AND MEDALS
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal
French Croix de Guerre with Palm
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
European-African-Middle East Campaign Medal
Army Occupation Medal (Germany)
Croix de Guerre (Lux)
Air Force Longevity Service Award with six oak leaf clusters
French Legion of Honor
OPINIONS, TASTES AND EVALUATIONS
Likes all food including the unusual. Wears dark clothes. Avid reader of "Who done its." High standards. Stresses loyalty and sincerity in all relationships. Demands that subordinates do job without detailed supervision. Delegates. Is not a "nit-picker." Recognizes that compromise is often required in order to arrive at an acceptable solution. This is result of extensive experience in high level planning and operations. "First time I have worked for an Air Force officer. If they are all like you, I hope all my future bosses are Air Force officers," a recent subordinate Army officer stated.