AIR COMMANDO Alison, John Richardson

Extreme Risk
By Chris Hunter
Albanian Assignment
By David Smiley

John Robertson

Staff member
John Richardson
  • UNIT
1 AC Group (Deputy Commander)
  • RANK
Lieutenant Colonel
Distinguished Service Order (GB)
Burma 1944-45
born 21.11.1912 Micanopy, Florida
graduated University of Florida 1936
commissioned USAAC (2Lt) 1.7.1937
33 Pursuit Squadron,8 Pursuit Group 9.7.1937
First Lieutenant 9.9.1940
57 Pursuit Group 1.5.1941
Instructor of Russian pilots, Moscow October 1941-1942
16 Fighter Squadron,51 Fighter Group June 1942
75 Fighter Squadron,23 Fighter Group July 1942
75 Fighter Squadron (C.O.) 1.12.1942-May 1943
awarded D.F.C. for 1942
393 Fighter Squadron,367 Fighter Group 1.8.1943
1 Air Commando Group (Deputy C.O.) 1944
off Active Duty 1947 as Colonel
USAF Reserve
C.O. 452 B.W.(Tactical) 15.5.1955-1.10.1959
Brigadier General 1957
Major General 1959
D.S.C., D.S.M., Silver Star, L.M.S.(x2), P.H., D.F.C., Air Medal(x2), D.S.O.(GB)


Distinguished Service Cross : The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Major (Air Corps) John Richardson Alison (ASN: 0-21393), United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Pilot of a P-40 Fighter Airplane in the 16th Fighter Squadron, 51st Fighter Group, TENTH Air Force, in aerial combat against enemy forces on 30 July 1942, over Hengyang, China. On that date, Major Alison took off in a P-40 fighting plane at 1:00 a.m. to intercept an enemy formation of three heavy bombers flying at 15,000 feet over Hengyang. Without hesitation, he closed for attack upon this superior force, and although receiving fire from the hostile wing ships in engine and cockpit, he delivered fire in succession to each of the three bombers, two of which burst into flames and crashed. The other turned from the attack with smoke pouring from both engines and probably did not reach its home base. With his damaged plane failing and pursuit impossible, Major Alison would have been justified under the circumstances, in leaving his ship by parachute, but he chose to attempt a night crash landing in order to save his vitally needed equipment. Being unable to reach the field, he landed in a nearby river, from which his plane was salvaged. In attacking this superior force at night, destroying two bombers and possibly the entire hostile formation after his ship had been damaged by enemy cross fire, and then attempting to save his stricken plane, Major Alison displayed extraordinary heroism and outstanding skill. His unquestionable valor in aerial combat is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the 10th Air Force, and the United States Army Air Forces.
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