John Adrian.

1964 – 1965 at Hill AFB, UT. with the 2849th ABGp. as a Helicopter Mechanic on H-21’s.

1965 – 1967 at Cigli Ab, Turkey with TUSLOG Det. 153, as a Flight Mechanic on HH-43B’s. 

1967 – 1968 at Shaw AFB, NC. with the 703rd TASS as a Helicopter Mechanic / Flight Engineer on CH-3E’s. 

1968 – 1969 at Udorn RTAFB, Thailand with the 40th ARRS as a Helicopter Mechanic / Flight Mechanic on the HH-53C’s.

1969 – 1970 at Forbes AFB, KS. with the 1370th Aerospace Cartographic and Geodetic Service, as a Helicopter Mechanic/Flight Mechanic on CH-3E’s.

1970 – 1971 at Andrews AFB, MD. with the 1st Helicopter Squadron as a Flight Mechanic on the CH-3E & UH-1N’s.

1971 – 1973 at Hill AFB, UT. with the 1550th ATTW as a Helicopter Mechanic / Flight Mechanic on the H-53’s. 

1973 – 1974 at NKP, RTAFB, Thailand with the 40th ARRS as a Flight Engineer on the HH-53C’s.

1974 – 1977 at Hill AFB, UT. with the 1550th ATTW as a Flight Engineer on H-53’s. 

1977 – 1984 at Kirtland AFB, UT. with the 1550th ATTW as a Flight Engineer Initial Cadre on the H-53 PAVE LOW.


John “Little John” M. Adrian, SMSgt., USAF (Retired)

March 1, 1945 ~ February 18, 2021

John Michael Adrian loving son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, friend and Airman passed away at his home surrounded by his family on February 18, 2021. He was born in Astoria (NYC), New York to John and Mary. He has five sisters Rosemary (Paul), Sonia, Loretta, Linda Mailman, Marion (Frank) and one brother Robert. He grew up and went to school in Flushing, NY. He worked with his dad in the family sheet metal business and was a member of the teamsters union. He then enlisted in the Air Force at age 18. After basic training, he was stationed at Hill AFB where he met and married Diana Barnes who he often referred to as his wingman. They had three children: John, Robin, and Kim. He retired as a Senior Master Sergeant after serving 21 years as a flight engineer and instructor on HH-3/HH-53/Pave Low. This included two combat tours in Southeast Asia.  He cherished his time in the Air Force and loved his Jolly Green family. He found time to earn his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and following military retirement, he owned two successful small businesses in Albuquerque, NM. Upon retirement from his second career, John and Diana returned to Utah to be closer to family.

He was the type of dad who coached baseball and help build the fields his sons teams played on. He always took the time to teach his son everything he needed to know about baseball. He never missed an opportunity to watch a Yankees game with his daughter whether it be in person, on the phone or at Yankee Stadium. He was a dedicated father to his daughter with Rett syndrome and embraced her caregiver Lynn as another daughter. He was the type of grandpa who supported his grandson Lincoln (Buddha) and embraced the Down syndrome community by helping build and fund Gigi’s Playhouse of Layton. He never missed an opportunity to take the grandkids on adventures. John was a student of American history and deeply loved his country. He was a sports enthusiast of any New York teams and could give you the stats of any players. Because of his memory, he was able to recall years and names of musicians in his favorite Doo Wop era. He was active in his community as volunteer firefighter in Clinton, Utah and in retirement he volunteered at Hill Aerospace museum along with Gigi’s. John never met a stranger and could talk to anyone about anything.

He is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Diana; his son, John (Karie); his daughters, Robin and Kimberly (Matthew); his grandkids, John, Daniel (Brittney), Lincoln, Kjirsten and Eli; and his great-grandkids, Kaysen and Ellie. He was preceded in death by his mother, father, brother and his grandson, John.

The family would like to give a special thanks to Dr. Arango and the nurses who are “gifts from God” (as John thought of them) and the rest of Utah Hematology/Oncology staff for their care and friendship. In Lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Gigi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Center of Layton, Utah. Services will be held at a later date to be announced.

It has been said, “A person dies twice: once when they take their final breath, and later, the last time their name is spoken.”  John was known for his big heart and will be sorely missed.  We will continue to keep his memory and stories alive.  “So there we were, one turning one burning..…”

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