SOURCE: NYT (6-9-11)
John R. Alison, an ace fighter pilot in World War II who helped organize and lead a broad American air campaign that enabled British forces to bog down the Japanese in the jungles of Burma, died Monday at his home in Washington. He was 98.
His son David confirmed his death.
Mr. Alison, a retired Air Force Reserve major general, was a lieutenant colonel in what was then the Army Air Forces in late 1943 when Gen. Henry Arnold, commander of the Air Forces, assigned him and another lieutenant colonel to organize Operation Thursday, which is credited with having helped protect India from invasion by the Japanese. The other lieutenant colonel was Philip Cochran, the model for the character Flip Corkin in the popular comic strip “Terry and the Pirates.”
The two young officers came to General Arnold’s attention for their exploits before and in the early years of the war. Colonel Cochran, who died in 1979, had been a successful fighter group commander in North Africa....