HUMPHREY, JOHN RICHARD
HUMPHREY, JOHN RICHARD
Rank / Branch:
CAPT U.S. AIR FORCE
Date of Birth:
Awards & Decorations:
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JOHN RICHARD HUMPHREY, CAPTAIN, U.S. AIR FORCE, BIG SPRING, HOWARD COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Senior Air Force Pilot Wings, Air Medal, Air Force Commendation's Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Air Force Longevity Medal with two Bronze Stars, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Reserve Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal
John R. Humphrey was born in Cheptapa, Kansas. His family moved to Fair Oaks, California when he was high school. Fair Oaks is a suburb of Sacramento.
He was a fourteen year veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He entered the Air Force on June 27, 1951 as an enlisted man and was trained as a photo lab tech, he then entered flight training on September 15. 1954 at Laredo Air Force base, then to Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas and then to Luke Air Force Base, Phoenix, Arizona where completed flight school on October 7, 1956 and was commissioned as a 2LT. He then spent a year in Alaska as a part of Operation Red Berry and three years as a pilot at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina. He then did a tour at Misawa Air Base, Japan from 1959 until 1961. In 1962, he was assigned as an instructor pilot at Webb Air Force Base in Big Spring, Texas and was assigned to the 1540th Pilot Training Squadron. His wife and he were very involved with the Big Spring community. His two sons were born there in 1964 and 1965. He had completed his Bachelor's Degree at Omaha University as a part of Operation Bootstrap, TDY from Webb from 1965 to 1966.
At Webb Air Force Base, Big Spring, Texas.
When he departed for Vietnam, his wife, Shirley Thelma Bowes Humphrey and the two sons remained in Big Spring. His tour began May 5, 1966 and he was assigned to the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, 7th Air Force and the unit was based at Korat RTAFB in Korat, Thailand. He was a F-100 pilot.
On November 26, 1966, he was the co-pilot on a C47B tail number 44-76574 and the aircraft departed Tan Son Nhut AFB near Saigon on an administrative flight. Shortly after take-off, the aircrew advised Tan Son Nhut they had an engine problem and were returning to that airfield. The first approach was aborted when the landing gear would not extend. The second approach ended in a fiery crash into a rice patty while on short final to the runway. The port engine's propeller engine was in the "feathered" position, indicating that engine had shut down before the crash. There were 25 personnel on board and all died in the crash.
Captain John Richard Humphrey was buried with full military honors at the Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California. He was survived by his wife, Shirley Thelma and two sons, Dale Allan and Scott Allan of Big Spring, Texas; his parents, Esther and William D. Humphrey of Fair Oaks, California.
Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, California