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John James Voll
JohnJVoll.jpg
Born (1922-05-03)May 3, 1922
Died September 12, 1987(1987-09-12) (aged 65)
Place of birth Cincinnati, Ohio
Place of burial Massachusetts National Cemetery
Allegiance United States
Service/branch Seal of the United States Department of the Air Force United States Air Force
Years of service 1942–1974
Rank US-O6 insignia Colonel
Commands held 522d Tactical Fighter Squadron
77th Aeronautical Systems Wing
Battles/wars World War II
Vietnam War
Awards Distinguished Service Cross ribbon Distinguished Service Cross
Silver Star Medal ribbon Silver Star (2)
Distinguished Flying Cross ribbon Distinguished Flying Cross (2)
Bronze Star ribbon Bronze Star Medal
Meritorious Service Medal ribbon Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal ribbon Air Medal (30)

John James Voll (May 3, 1922 – September 12, 1987) was a career officer in the United States Air Force and a World War II flying ace. He flew P-51 Mustangs with the 308th Fighter Squadron of the 31st Fighter Group. He was the third highest scoring P-51 Mustang ace of the war, and the top USAAF ace of the Mediterranean Theater of Operations and Fifteenth Air Force, with 21 aerial victories.

Early lifeEdit

Voll was born on May 3, 1922 in Cincinnati, Ohio, the oldest of 5 children. John later moved to Goshen where he and his siblings all attended school. Voll graduated in 1940. Voll enlisted in the Air Corps Reserve on August 5, 1942, and finally began Aviation Cadet training on March 8, 1943. In 1943, Voll entered Miami University. The 1943 edition of the Miami Recensio includes pictures of Voll on the Miami freshman football team.[1][2]

Military careerEdit

World War IIEdit

He graduated from pilot training on Jan 7, 1944. After completing P-47 Thunderbolt training, he joined the 308th Fighter Squadron of 31st Fighter Group in May 1944, his first mission a bomber escort over Italy. His first kill was a Focke-Wulf Fw 190 on June 23 on a mission over Ploiești. On August 17, 1944, over Romania, while escorting B-24s on a bombing mission against the Ploiești oil refineries, a squadron mate of then Lieutenant Voll was forced to bail out near the Danube River. After covering his friend until he safely reached the ground, Voll pulled away from the crash site and spotted three Bf-109s. The fierce air battle that ensued became sweet revenge for Lieutenant Voll. With a tally of two enemy fighters destroyed and one probable, he more than evened the score for his downed friend.[1][2]

Flying a P-51D named "American Beauty," his final victories occurred during a spectacular, individual effort.

While leading an escort mission to Munich on 16 November 1944, Captain Voll experienced electrical problems and left the formation. As he returned alone, he spotted a single Ju 88 over Udine, Italy.

Chasing the German aircraft as it attempted to return to its base, Voll was suddenly jumped by 12 Bf 109s and Fw 190s. He quickly shot down the Ju 88 and turned into the enemy fighters. In a swirling, 5-minute battle, John Voll destroyed two Fw 190s, one Bf 109, had two probables, and two damaged, making him one of the 38 Army Air Force "Ace-in-a-Day" pilots. He ended the war with 21 air-to-air kills, all while flying the P-51 Mustang.

After leaving the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, Captain Voll was sent to China as a headquarters staff officer in the Chinese-American Composite Wing. When the war ended, he was discharged from the military.[1]

Post WWII careerEdit

After the war, Voll returned to Goshen and became the high school science teacher at his alma mater. He taught two years before being recalled to active duty in 1948.

He served with the 3525th Pilot Training Wing at Williams Air Force Base until October 1949, when he was transferred to the 66th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Elmendorf Air Force Base. Voll served with the 66th Fighter Interceptor Squadron until October 1951, and then was assigned to the 1002nd Inspector General Group at Norton Air Force Base, where he served as a Power Plant Specialist and Inspector until August 1954, when he attended Air Command and Staff College, graduating in June 1955.

Voll then served with Air Defense Command at Hamilton Air Force Base from July 1955 to November 1958, when he was assigned to the Air Force Advisory Group at Kimpo Air Base, where he served until November 1960. From November 1960 to October 1961, Voll served with the 27th Tactical Fighter Wing at Cannon Air Force Base. He then served as the Commander of the 522nd Tactical Fighter Squadron, also at Cannon Air Force Base, from October 1961 to July 1962, when he was assigned as an Operations Staff Officer for the 832nd Air Division at Cannon Air Force Base.

His next assignment was with Headquarters Tactical Air Command at Langley Air Force Base, where he served from October 1962 to August 1964. He then attended Naval Warfare School, graduating in June 1965. From July 1965 to June 1966, he went through air Attache training and then was assigned as Air Attache to Singapore from June 1966 to July 1968.[1][2]

VietnamEdit

Voll served as the Chief of the Plans Division for the 6250th Support Squadron of Seventh Air Force at Tan Son Nhut Air Base in the Republic of Vietnam from July 1968 to August 1969. He was instrumental in implementing Operation Rolling Thunder. He then completed Armed Forces Staff College, graduating in June 1970. Voll's final assignment was as commander of the 77th Aeronautical Systems Wing at McClellan Air Force Base from October 1973 until his retirement from the Air Force on July 31, 1974.[1][2]

Later lifeEdit

Voll and his wife Joan, who was from Blanchester, Ohio, had 2 children. After retiring, they lived in Lexington, Massachusetts. Voll died on September 12, 1987, and is buried at the Massachusetts National Cemetery. His wife, Joan died on July 28, 1999 and is buried next to him.[1]

Military DecorationsEdit

Voll's military decorations and awards include:[2]

COMMAND PILOT WINGS  Command pilot badge
Distinguished Service Cross ribbon.svg Distinguished Service Cross
Bronze oakleaf-3d
Silver Star ribbon.svg
Silver Star with one oak leaf cluster
Bronze oakleaf-3d
Distinguished Flying Cross ribbon.svg
Distinguished Flying Cross with one oak leaf cluster
Bronze Star ribbon.svg Bronze Star
Meritorious Service Medal ribbon.svg Meritorious Service Medal
Silver oakleaf-3d
Silver oakleaf-3d
Silver oakleaf-3d
Silver oakleaf-3d
Air Medal ribbon.svg
Air Medal with four silver leaf clusters
Silver oakleaf-3d
Bronze oakleaf-3d
Bronze oakleaf-3d
Bronze oakleaf-3d
Air Medal ribbon.svg
Air Medal with one silver and three oak leaf clusters (second ribbon required for accouterment spacing)
AF Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon.png Air Force Presidential Unit Citation
Bronze oakleaf-3d
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with one oak leaf cluster
American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg American Campaign Medal
Silver star
Bronze star
Bronze star
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon.svg
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one silver and two bronze campaign stars
Bronze star
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign ribbon.svg
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one bronze star
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg World War II Victory Medal
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg
National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Vietnam Service Medal ribbon.svg
Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze stars
Korea Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg Korea Defense Service Medal
Silver oakleaf-3d
Bronze oakleaf-3d
Air Force Longevity Service ribbon.svg
Air Force Longevity Service Award with one silver and oak leaf cluster

USAF Marksmanship ribbon  Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon

Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal Ribbon  Armed Forces Honor Medal, 1st Class

Vietnam gallantry cross unit award-3d  Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation

Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal ribbon, with 60- clasp  Vietnam Campaign Medal

Distinguished Service Cross citationEdit

Voll, John J.
Captain, U.S Army Air Forces
308th Fighter Squadron, 31st Fighter Group, 15th Air Force
Date of Action: November 16, 1944
Headquarters, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, General Orders No. 61 (1944)

Citation:

Captain (Air Corps) John J. Voll , United States Army Air Forces, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Pilot of a P-51 Fighter Airplane in the 308th Fighter Squadron, 31st Fighter Group, 15th Air Force, in aerial combat against enemy forces on 16 November 1944, in the European Theater of Operations. After destroying a JU 88 in the Udine area, Captain Voll was jumped by a dozen enemy fighters. Despite being heavily outnumbered, he remained in the fight, shooting down four more enemy to become an ace in a day. Captain Voll's unquestionable valor in aerial combat is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the 15th Air Force, and the United States Army Air Forces.[3]

ReferencesEdit

BibliographyEdit

  • Scutts, Jerry (1995). Mustang aces of the Ninth & Fifteenth Air Forces & the RAF. Osprey Aerospace. ISBN 1855325837. OCLC 34113576. 

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