More detail on this person: Col John Charles Geary John Charles Geary was born in West Hazelton, Pennsylvania, on 22 July 1921, the son of Charles and Mary Geary. John was a devout Catholic, and died of a heart attack while attending Mass. He graduated from West Hazelton High School in 1939 and enlisted in the Regular Army in October 1939. He attained the rank of master sergeant during his assignment in the Panama Canal Zone, and won a competitive appointment to West Point in 1943. As a cadet he was assigned to Company B2 and attained the rank of battalion supply officer. He earned a varsity letter as a member of the track team. John received his commission in the Artillery on 4 June 1946, and married Rita G. Dowgala 22 June 1946. During the ensuing thirty-four years of selfless, dedicated service, spanning three wars, two of which he flew in combat, his personal contributions to the Army he dearly loved continued to grow. His first assignment after West Point took John to the Artillery School at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and Fort Bliss, Texas, then to paratroop training at Fort Benning, Georgia. Upon completion he was assigned to Japan for three years with the 753 Anti-Aircraft Artillery Gun Battalion. When he returned to the States in 1950, he was assigned to the 95th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Gun Battalion, Fort Lewis, Washington. He applied after six months there for Army flight training and was assigned to San Marcos, Texas. He qualified as an Army aviator and transferred to Ordnance to get into aviation maintenance and supply. After attending the Ordnance School he transferred to the Transportation Corps when that aviation responsibility was reassigned there. After two years in the Office of the Chief of Transportation he attended the University of Michigan where he earned a Master of Science Degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1956. He was then assigned as Director of Flight Test Division of the Army's Transportation Aircraft Test and Support Activity, Fort Rucker, Alabama. While at Fort Rucker, John helped pioneer the Army's logistics test concept of accelerated "lead the fleet" testing. For his achievement and significant contribution to the operational upgrading of the helicopter fleet, John and his organization were awarded the prestigious William J. Kossler award by the American Helicopter Society in 1959. John graduated from the United States Air Force Test Pilot School in 1961 and became one of Army aviation's first qualified and experienced engineering test pilots. In 1961 John was assigned to the CH-47 Project Manager's office in St. Louis and served there until 1965 when he became the Military Assistant to the Director for Tactical Aircraft Systems in the Office, Director of Defense and Engineering, with duties pertaining to helicopter and vertical takeoff and landing developments for all services. John's overseas assignments included tours of duty in Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. He was a Master Army Aviator and logged flight time in thirty-five different types of fixed wing aircraft and twenty different types of helicopters. At the time of his retirement In November 1973, John was Director, Research, Development and Engineering, Aviation Systems Command, St. Louis, Missouri. After retirement he was employed by Hughes Helicopters, until his death in January 1982, as manager of the St. Louis, Missouri office, the company's direct link to the Army's AH-64A APACHE Helicopter Program Office. His awards consist of the Legion of Merit, Air Medal with clusters, and the Joint Service Commendation Medal. After his death, he was inducted into the Army Aviation Hall of Fame in Ft. Rucker, AL on April 6, 1989.
Burial information: Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, LeMay, MO
This information was last updated 05/22/2018
Please send additions or corrections to: HQ@vhpa.org VHPA Headquarters
Return to the Helicopter Pilot DAT name list
Return to VHPA web site
Date posted on this site: 03/05/2019
Copyright © 1998 - 2019 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association