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T/Sgt John F. Hicks
CFC Gunner

I was born and raised in the Philadelphia, PA area. I entered military service on October 5, 1942 in the Aviation Cadet Program. I was eliminated from Pilot training and was sent to Aircraft Armament School at Lowery AAB Colorado then to Aerial Gunnery School. Fort Myers, FL where I met my wife-to-be Ann Marie Acuff. I was next sent back to attend the CF Specialist School. I was then sent to Salina, Kansas to join the 39th Bomb Group, 60th Squadron, Crew P-15.

The 39th Bomb Group finished ORT and we proceeded to Guam and started flying combat missions. In June 1945 our crew was returned to the USA to take special radar training at MAAB. During this time I married Miss Acuff. The crew returned to Guam in time to fly one more combat mission.

I returned to the USA in November 1945 on one of the Sunset Projects and was discharged as a T/Sgt on December 13, 1945. I returned to civilian life and we made our home in Ft. Myers, Fl. I reenlisted in the AAF in May 1946 as a S/Sgt and was assigned to the 509th Bomb Wing at Roswell, NM where I did duty as a CFC Gunner and Gunnery Instructor at the Base Gunnery School. During this time I received a direct appointment as a 2nd Lt. USAF. On March 10, 1952, I was recalled as a 2nd Lt. and assigned to the 28th Bomb Wing (B-36 aircraft) as the Wing Gunnery Officer and the OIC of the Base Gunnery School. The next few years I attended several Electronics Schools and held several positions in the 28th A&E Maintenance Squadron. Also during this time I had a return trip to Guam with the 28th Wing on a 90-day rotation with RB-36's. In 1955 we converted from RB-36's to B-52D's. In June 1962, I was sent to SAC HQ working for the DM in the A & E Procedures Branch. I retired after 22 years in the Air Force as a Major and returned to Ft. Myers, FL with my family.

In Ft. Myers I went to work with Bendix Field Engineering (BFEC) under contract with NASA at the Ft. Myers NASA Tracking Station. At the Tracking Station, we were downloading and recording data from satellites. In January 1972, I was transferred to BFEC HQ and worked all over the world installing new equipment in the NASA Manned Space Network. I retired from BFEC in September 1963 having worked for BFEC and NASA for over 19 years.

My children have all done well and each has their Masters Degree:

Jaqueline Ann BS and Masters in Nursing
University of Florida
Mary Helen BA and Masters in Library Science
Florida State
David Bruce BA and Masters in Gerontology

We have two grandsons: Peter and Jeremy

Since I retired from BFEC I have done a little hunting and a lot of fishing. Also Ann Marie and I have done some traveling: Alaska, England; Canada; Panama Canal; Hartford CT and Las Vegas, NV to name a few places visited.

Ann Marie and I have recently celebrated our 55th wedding anniversary.


T/Sgt John F. Hicks, took his Final Flight 26 January 2006 at the age 83 yrs.

Source: updated info provided by Benjamin A. Piteo, P-15 (24 Dec 2001); Notice of Death found on Legacy.com
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This page created 21 March 2001/Updated 12 November 2007
Copyright ©  2000 - 2007 - 39th Bomb Group (VH) Association