John R. Alison oral history interview (Part 1 of 2)

Dublin Core


John R. Alison oral history interview (Part 1 of 2)


In this two-part oral history, fighter ace John R. Alison is interviewed by Eugene A. Valencia about his military service with the United States Army Air Corps. In part one, Alison describes the early stages of his military career, including his flight training and his time as a fighter pilot with the 8th Pursuit Group. He also shares anecdotes about himself and fellow pilots.

The interview includes an introduction by Merian C. Cooper, United States Army Air Forces officer and film director.



Rights Holder

The Museum of Flight Archives


Permission to publish material from the American Fighter Aces Association Oral Interviews must be obtained from The Museum of Flight Archives.

Bibliographic Citation

The American Fighter Aces Association Oral Interviews/The Museum of Flight

Oral History Item Type Metadata


Biographical Text

John R. Alison was born on November 21, 1912 in Micanopy, Florida. He joined the United States Army Air Corps in 1936 and graduated from flight school the following year. After serving as an assistant military attaché to England and the Soviet Union, Alison was assigned to the China Air Task Force, the successor of the American Volunteer Group, under General Claire Chennault. He flew two combat tours in the China-Burma-India Theater, one with the 23rd Fighter Group and one as commander of the 1st Air Commando Group. Alison remained in the Air Force Reserve after World War II and retired as a major general in 1972. He also served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce from 1947 to 1949 and as an executive for the Northrop Corporation until his retirement in 1984. Alison passed away in 2011.

Biographical information courtesy of: Boyce, Ward J., ed., American fighter aces album. Mesa, Ariz: American Fighter Aces Association, 1996.


Date of Interview

1965-07 circa

Time Period Discussed

1930s-1960s circa






American Fighter Aces Association, “John R. Alison oral history interview (Part 1 of 2),” The Museum of Flight - Digital Collections, accessed July 18, 2019,