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Johnny Alison Dies: Ret. Maj. Gen. John R. Alison, a highly decorated World War II combat ace, Korean War veteran, and lifetime airpower advocate, died Monday at his home in Washington, D.C. He was 98. "General Alison was a superb airman and an Air Force legend," said Air Force Secretary Michael Donley. "The incredible life he led remains a source of tremendous inspiration, and we are grateful for his enduring legacy of leadership, service, and patriotism." A native of Micanopy, Fla., Alison entered the Army Air Corps after graduating college in 1936. He served on active duty and later in the Air Force Reserve until his retirement in 1972. During World War II, he achieved six official aerial victories while flying with, and commanding, the 75th Fighter Squadron, part of the famed "Flying Tigers," in the China-Burma-India theater. He later became co-commander of the newly formed 1st Air Commando Group that fought behind Japanese lines in Burma. He became known as the father of Air Force special operations. He returned to service during the Korean War. Alison served as AFA's President from 1954 to 1955 and as AFA's Chairman of the Board from 1955 to 1956. He remained engaged in AFA and in mentoring air commandos throughout his later years. Alison was inducted into the Air Commando Hall of Fame, National Aviation Hall of Fame, and last year became the first inductee into US Special Operations Command's Commando Hall of Honor. He was a founding Member of the Air Force Memorial Foundation. (SAF/PA release) (AFA release) (See also our initial coverage.) (For more on Alison, see Valor: They Said It Couldn't Be Done and The All-American Airman from Air Force Magazine's archives.)