General John F. Flanagan, Jr. is a combat veteran with over 300
missions to his credit. He is a Command Pilot with more than 4400
flying hours, best-selling author, and forward-thinking commander.
entered the Air Force in 1962 as a graduate of the U. S.
Air Force Academy. After earning his pilot wings in August 1963
(T-33), he was assigned to the 961st Airborne Early Warning
and Control (AEW&C)
Squadron at Otis AFB, MA flying the EC-121H, a four-engine
radar patrol aircraft, a predecessor to the current AWACS.
completing Forward Air Controller training in 1966, 1st Lt.
Flanagan was assigned to the 21st Tactical Air Support Squadron,
Nha Trang, Vietnam, flying the O-1E spotter aircraft. He served
with several Army units, including the Republic of Korea Tiger
Division, the American 101st Airborne Division, and the elite,
hunter-killer, Delta Force of the Green Berets.
He parachuted with the
Vietnamese Airborne Rangers and flew 300 combat missions over
South Vietnam, Laos, and North Vietnam. His combat mission experiences
include flights in the A-1E, F-100, F-4C, the Army’s UH1-D
and L-19, and the USMC's CH-46. He was the only 1st Lieutenant
to command an Air Force detachment assigned to an autonomous
In 1968, Captain Flanagan was reassigned to
the 961st AEW&C Squadron at Otis AFB, MA (EC-121H) and joined
the 105th Tactical Air Support Group of the New York Air National
Guard at Westchester County Airport, White Plains, NY (O-2) the
following year. During this tour of duty, he served in command
and staff positions as Brigade and Division Air Liaison Officer,
Flight Commander, and Commander of the Air Support Operations
He was appointed Deputy Commander of the 6000 men and women
of the New York Air National Guard in January
1986. He initiated
programs in career development and command succession,
manpower and recruiting, and advancement for minorities. He also
employed the talents of businessmen-Guardsmen to improve management
systems and to conduct key studies which addressed future missions
of the National Guard.
General Flanagan is the author of Vietnam:
Above the Treetops (1992), main selection of the Military Book
Club. His professional articles have appeared in several well-known
General Flanagan retired in 1995; he is a Command
Pilot with more than 4400 flying hours. He earned his M.B.A. in
Finance from Boston College in 1966. He was an Outstanding Graduate
of the Air War College (1985) and he completed the Reserve Components
National Security Course at National Defense University (1986) and
the Composite Air Warfare Course at Air University (1987).
Awards & Decorations
- Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster
- Air Medal with 11 oak leaf clusters
- Air Force Commendation Medal
- Presidential Unit Citation with oak leaf cluster
- Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with silver star
- Vietnam Parachutist Badge
- Citation from the Republic of Korea