Dorgan, John – AZ (RIP)

John Dorgan

Mil. service, Three months as a Marine reservist, March -June 1955.

Joined the Air Force in June with basic at Sampson AFB, Geneva, NY. Rotary Wing school at Gary AFB, San Marcos, TX. H-19 class. Graduated in early 1966.

First assignment was Donaldson AFB, SC. and wouldn’t you know it, they had H-21’s. I learned the hard way about these wonderful and temperamental beauties.

There for only a short time and was transferred to Sewart AFB, TN., to the 23rd Helron which was prepping for an overseas transfer. Ten of our H-21’s went to Phalsbourg AFB, France while four went to Wethersfield, England and four went to Wheelus Field, Tripoli, Libya. (My-My, how times have changed).

I was in the group that went to France via an old WWII jeep carrier, the USS Tripoli. Seventeen days from Mobile Alabama to Bremerhaven, Germany. Being an A3C at the time, I got laundry duty aboard ship, which while in the beginning meant temps in the 100+ range with humidity about the same.

Our H-21’s were cocooned and tied down on the flight deck for the trip while a squadron of Army H-34’s occupied the hangar deck. After entering the north Atlantic in October, the weather turned decidedly colder, and I began to enjoy the laundry. I knew it was too good to last, when I was transferred to deck watch, which meant checking all the lashings and tie downs every hour and reporting to the OD on the bridge. If you can imagine the Atlantic in late October/November, it was pretty miserable.

On arriving at Bremerhaven, we had to de-preserve our birds and fly them down to Phalsbourg. Easier said than done. No maps other than road maps. This was truly IFR conditions. (I follow roads). Since all of our birds were not in condition to fly, this meant flying several to Phalsbourg, removing necessary parts and returning to Bremerhaven to get the others fixed. A real project!!  A side note to this is the fact that Major James L. Blackburn was our Squadron commander and brought his little dog aboard ship for the voyage.

After a year at Phalsbourg, I received a humanitarian re-assignment to Otis AFB, MA., to the base flight unit that had the responsibility to supply the H-21’s flying support to the Texas towers. The three, oil rig style, radar stations off the coast. In all our years of flying this operation, we only lost one H-21 due to engine failure and didn’t lose a single life.

Our birds were equipped with flotation gear that was so good, that the one that did go down floated so long that the Coast Guard finally had to sink it with gun fire.

Now, having a little experience under my belt, I became a crew chief and went on flying status.

After about four years there, I attended H-43 school and was a part of the initial cadre that formed Det. 45, EARC, Pease AFB, NH.

At Pease, the story can now be told about the infamous fire. It seems that one fine day while flying local, a crew decided to land in an apple orchard. This orchard was on base property and was pretty overgrown, but still had great fruit. On takeoff, it was seen that the dry grass under where the exhaust stack had been was blazing merrily. I don’t believe that anyone to this day has divulged this bit of information, the crew being very closed mouth about it.

After being there about a year and a half, I was transferred to Loring AFB, ME., to another LBR Det. This was a pretty interesting assignment since we seemed to be continually rescuing hunters who had gone missing.

From Loring, in 1965, I was transferred to Cigli AB, Turkey, pronounced “Chili”. Another LBR unit. I was lucky enough to have had concurrent travel approved for my dependents and off we went with five kids in tow, two in diapers. Due to the shortage of housing (more about that later) we had to spend six weeks in a local hotel in downtown Izmir. We had one room, the kids had another. Dinner was at the downtown NCO club where we soon became a fixture. My quarters on base when we moved in were an 8’X32″ trailer with a 10’X20″ addition. This was considered standard. Do the math, this is 456 square feet.

This tour lasted two and a half years with an assignment to Edwards AFB, CA., perhaps my most interesting assignment and one of the most rewarding. We flew coverage on all of the X-15, B-70, SR-71, YF-12, lifting bodies, etc. We had a mixed bag of helicopters including three H-13’s, one UH-1B, three H-21’s and one CH-3B. The H-3 and the Huey were instrumented for test purposes with remote panels and were used for many projects. 

One afternoon, just before quitting time, there was a stir and we were asked to get the H-3 ready to go. Since it was out of commission, we instead used the Huey. A Navy A-1 had gone down on Mount Whitney while on a search mission. It was said that both aboard had survived, but needed help. By the time that we arrived, it was dark and snowing, and as we found out later, there was up to ten feet of snow on the ground.

We had a pickup crew with a qualified pilot, a co-pilot with no helicopter time, myself and the world’s oldest PJ, Guy Roberts. If I remember, he had to be in his mid-fifties. In any case, we finally did locate them and decided that the best thing to do would be to insert Guy to assess the situation. We came to a hover, opened the door and out went Guy.

Then the wheels came off! The change in temperature caused the inside of the windshield to fog up! The pilot was yelling, “hit the defrosters” and the poor co-pilot was at a loss, I climbed over the console and hit the switch. On returning to the door, Guy was just emerging form the deep snow into which he had fallen. (He never did hit the ground).

To make a long story longer, Guy stayed the night with the two pilots who both had back injuries after we dropped him cold weather gear and sleeping bags along with his medical kit. The next day dawned bright, clear and with no wind. We were tasked to lead an H-43 from George to the site to do the pickup since we didn’t have a hoist. Guess who all got DFC’s while I received my first Air Medal.

From Edwards, the gods saw fit to assign me to yet another LBR Unit, this time in Takhli, Thailand. No excitement at all on this tour thank goodness.

From there I was assigned to Davis Monthan AFB, AZ. The home of the 100th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing of SAC. Talk about a bastard child of an outfit. Nobody at Air Force level seemed to know what to do with us. Our mission was so classified that we weren’t even supposed to tell our wives what we were doing. Peace Time Aerial Reconnaissance it was called.

Our aircraft included the C-130s, the U-2 and the CH-3’C. Perhaps you may have noticed, there was no mention of a CH-3 school. Once again, I had to learn for myself. I was assigned as a Flight engineer/Winch operator.

The mission was a one of a kind in the Air Force, as we were the only ones doing midair retrievals of drones. The lightest of which weighed in at about 1800 lbs dry weight. The heaviest weighed over 4500 lbs. dry.

We operated at Da Nang AB, RVN, so 90 days after returning from a one year tour in SEA, I stepped off the plane in Da Nang. We were scheduled for a 60 day TDY. Our schedule of 60 days over and 60 days back continued for four years giving me a total of 1094 days SEA time. 

Our record of successful recoveries of recoverable drones was over 98%. In other words, if it were in the chutes, we got it. There were some notable recoveries in other ways, such as the crew that caught the chute on the nose (covered the windshield). This makes instrument flight pretty much a necessity. The one who caught one on the nose gear (Sikorsky builds rugged nose gear assemblies), and the ones that went in the drink. We even had the Navy get into the act by shooting one down and claiming a MIG kill.

Then there was the day that the Navy bombed Da Nang. It seems that they were bombing above the cloud layer off a TACAN fix which would not have been a problem if they had the correct TACAN station dialed in. 

Since DM was a five year stabilized tour and coincided pretty much with my 20 year point, I opted not to stay for E-7 since I already had a job here locally in Tucson. Been here ever since and love it.

~ Final Flight 13 May 2012 ~

John Francis Dorgan Jr., USAF (Retired)
March 05, 1938 – May 13, 2012

John Francis Dorgan, husband of Helen Dorgan, passed away at the age of 74 on Sunday, May 13th, 2012 at the Veterans’ Hospital. He was born in Dorchester, MA. on March 5th, 1938, son of the late John and Delima Dorgan.

He graduated from Cathedral high school in Boston, MA. He then went on to join the United States Air Force and served for 22 years. He was a lifetime member of the VFW. For the last twenty years he has been restoring antique lights, sirens and beacons for customers worldwide.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 56 years, Helen Dorgan. He is also survived by his sister, Alma O’Rourke; and his five children, Helyn, Mary-Ellen (Bill), John (Lisa), Jim, and Joe (Pat). His seven grandchildren, Rusty, Katie, Becky, Jessica, Maegan, Candace, and Hannah, as well as his twelve great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews, also survive him.

Services will be held on Saturday, May 19th at 2pm at East Lawn Mortuary on 5801 East Grant Road.

Any donations can be made to the American Lung Association at 2819 East Broadway Boulevard, Tucson, AZ, 85716

~ GUEST BOOK ~

May 11, 2013
I am very saddened that the world has lost such an accomplished man. He will be remembered by me always. My deepest condolences to the family and friends of John Francis Dorgan. May the good lord Bless and keep the family during such a trying time.
~
Charles Parker, Clearwater, Florida

March 14, 2013
As the California State Representative of the Emergency Vehicle Owners & Operators Association and a former police reserve officer, I wish to extend the association’s as well as my personal condolences to the Dorgan family. John was an extreme asset to the hobby of restoring emergency vehicles. It was a pleasure to do business with him, as well as getting advise.

May he rest in peace.
~
R.P. Glausch, Union City, California

March 05, 2013
Happy Birthday, Grandpa. I miss you so much. It’s so weird not spending this day with you. I hope they are treating you as good as grandma treated you up there. I love you so much & just wanted to stop by & wish you a happy birthday. I miss you big guy <3
~
Candace Dorgan, Tucson, Arizona

December 07, 2012
I love and miss you s much!!
~
Kate Danahy, Machias, Maine

December 07, 2012
In My Pocket

I have memories in my pocket.
They rattle among the change.

My memories of you are treasures I carry wherever I go.

They are stored in bits and pieces, parts of a beautiful whole
They give me comfort when I think I am alone.

Yes, I have memories in my pocket, like so much other stuff I keep there.

But of all the treasures I have, it’s the memories of you that are the most precious.

By Lamaretta Simmons
~
Kathleen Danahy, Machias, Maine

December 07, 2012
I would express my condolences and sympathy to the Dorgan family. R.I.P. Mr. John Dorgan you will be truly missed.
Bobby Lingard and the Red Oak Fire Dept. (Barnwell SC)
~
Bobby Lingard, Barenwell, South Carolina

November 23, 2012
~
Becky McCluskey, Naylor, Georgia

November 21, 2012
My condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Dorgan. …This may sound silly, but as I was beginning my own collection of sirens I had a few questions about some of them. In retrospect, they were the kind of questions that he was probably asked a many times a day, but he still took the time to answer them -sometimes emailing back and forth over a period of days- and never charged me, never ignored me, was always polite and willing to share his knowledge and experience freely. So few people like that left in the world. He really impressed me, and many other people in the community considered him the authority on vintage sirens. A good man, good at what he did.
~
Jeremiah Shaw, Virginia Beach, Virginia

October 18, 2012
I miss you grandpa!!!
~
Becky McCluskey, Naylor, Georgia

October 14, 2012
Sorry for the lateness of this post. I became friends with John when I was a volunteer FF on long island in NY. I am so sadded by his passing. May god comfort you all.
~
Russell Randolph, Bradenton, Florida

October 13, 2012
May God be with you. We were stationed at Otis AFB In early 60,s.
~
SMSgt James Duffy, Clinton, Utah

October 13, 2012
Please accept my condolences and my respect for John’s service to his country.
Jerry Kibby, Lt. Col., USAF (retired)
~
Jerry Kibby, Valrico, Florida

October 13, 2012
My condolences to the Dorgan family. I have just received an email from Joe Dorgan letting me know that his Dad, John, had passed away. I was greatly saddened by this news. John was a member of our USAF RotorHeads website group and a part of our USAF helicopter family. He served our country for over 20 years as a helicopter mechanic and flight crew member. He served in the Vietnam War in both the Air Rescue Service and the Strategic Air Command (SAC). His service in SAC was with a very highly classified unit known by the name “Buffalo Hunters”. Not only was this unit’s mission highly classified, it was extremely hazardous, using the helicopters he flew on to recover reconnaissance drones, weighing up to 4,500 pounds, in mid-air by diving on and snagging their parachutes as they descended. He served in the Vietnam War Theater for a total of 1,094 days. During his Air Force career this true American Hero was awarded numerous awards and decorations including three awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross, a Bronze Star, and eleven awards of the Air Medal for his combat service. I salute this man, my friend, who served our country, both in peace and in war with honor and courage. John had become a member of our USAF RotorHeads group ( www.rotorheadsrus.us ) in August of 2007 and shared numerous details of his USAF helicopter career, both in stories and photos, that are now a part of our collective USAF helicopter operational history on our website. God Rest the soul of John Francis Dorgan Jr. God comfort and protect the Dorgan family.
~
Jim Burns, SMSgt. USAF (retired), Navarre, Florida

October 12, 2012
I spoke to John on the phone several times and by email regarding some of the FS items that I needed for my 1970’s Ford police cars. He was a wealth of information, and his prices were a real bargain considering his vast knowledge and the quality of his restoration work. He touched me and many other people around the world. He is sorely missed. R.I.P. John
~
Bill Parks,
Port Orange, Florida

October 11, 2012
John was a very important resource for our fire department when it came to fixing a rotating beacon or an electro-mechanical siren on one of our 1950s to 60s apparatus. We bought several of his refurbished units and were overjoyed to see the quality of the refurbishment. God rest his soul, and comfort those close to him.
~
Bruce Gescheidle, Fire Chief (retired), Pokagon Volunteer Fire Department, Cass County Michigan.

September 05, 2012
Although we had never met in person. JD as I knew him when we chatted via email and occasionally on the phone in the past. He was a wealth of knowledge and very particular about the vintage sirens we spoke about. If it were not for JD I would not know how to disassemble the Federal sirens and repair them. I still have his words printed out so I can pass on his experience and knowledge to those that may need it! I also had the opportunity to purchase many FS siren parts from JD that you just can’t find anywhere else. Always fair and quick with his business! I really enjoy the photos of JD! I now have a face to go with his voice. The Sirenman is missed!! Regards, Cliff Bergum, Qualicum Beach,BC Canada
~
Cliff Bergum, Qualicum Beach, British Columbia

August 24, 2012
I am sorry for it very much, I am collector, from the world’s other end. RIP Mr Sirenman LIGHTBARMARCI,lightbar and siren collector from HUNGARY/BUDAPEST
~
Martin Feher, Budapest

August 19, 2012
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
~
Angela Pagano, Tucson, Arizona

August 17, 2012
My Condolences and Prayers to the Dorgan Family. Mr. Dorgan was a great Man and a true Professional. I enjoyed talking to him on the phone and through e-mails. He will be missed. May He Rest In Peace.
~
Mitch Kushner, Skokie, Illinois

July 11, 2012
I extend my deepest condolences, thoughts, and prayers to The Dorgan Family. I saw the notice of his passing on one of the emergency equipment websites, and I was totally shocked. I did not know John real well, but I have purchased a few things from him over the years. John was the quintessential expert restorer of antique and vintage emergency lights and sirens, and he served us all so very well. He profoundly touched all of us throughout the United States and the entire world with his many talents and expertise. He will be sorely missed by us all, and we’ll never forget “Sirenman.”
~
Bill Parks, Port Orange, Florida

July 03, 2012
I had the distinct honor of meeting John and his family while in the Tucson, Arizona area while working as a field engineer in the state forensic science lab in Tucson…. John invited me to his home to see his collection and to meet his family…. I will always remember John and his hospitality…. I even purchased a light…. My Warm Regards to his Family,
~
Robert Kelly, Virginia Beach, Virginia

June 20, 2012
I would like to offer my condolences to the Dorgan family on the passing of John. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Rest in Peace John, Lighting your way to heaven!!
~
Chris Riley, Elmwood Park, New Jersey

June 18, 2012
Sorry to learn of John’s passing. We had several deals over the years. Nice guy and he will be missed.
~
Daune Warth, LAFD, ret.

June 17, 2012
This is the first Father’s Day without my grandpa. I love you & miss you more than anything in the world! You were such an inspiring person & I still look up to you til ‘ this day. I am so proud to say that I got to spend 15 amazing years of my life with you. You had that sense of humor where you could make everyone laugh. Even baby Dylan. [: I remember when I used to call the house looking for grandma & you would always say “She went off with the milkman.” or “She went to the moon.” I miss the phone calls & I miss hearing your voice every day. Rest in peace grandpa. I love you & I am so glad I got to see you today.
~
Candace Dorgan, Tucson, Arizona

June 17, 2012
This is the first Father’ s Day without my grandpa . I love you grandpa and I miss you more than anything in the world. You were such an inspiring person & I still look up to you til ‘ this day. I am so glad I am able to say that i got to spend 15 amazing years with you in my life. I could not have done it without you. I remember every time I called the house I would ask for grandma & you would always say “She went off with the milk man”. You always had such a great sense of humor and I miss your phone calls and hearing your voice. Rest in peace grandpa . You will be in my heart forever. I love you. And I wish you were here with me.
~
Candace Dorgan, Tucson, Arizona

June 13, 2012
It has only been a month, and as I read all of the heartfelt prayers for my dad I can still not believe he is gone. It really helps knowing that he touched so many lives and your support has been so touching and appreciated. We miss him so much!
~
Mary Ellen McBee, Tucson, Arizona

June 12, 2012
Although I wish I could say John has helped me with a personal project such as a siren or beacon, I cannot. However John has helped me start a family, provide them a home, and grow into a community. I met John and Helen very promptly after meeting their granddaughter, they accepted me so lovingly into their family and shortly after the entire Dorgan family welcomed me the same. John always had a knowledgeable piece of advice, story or even a joke applicable to all situations. Very often he was contacted for everything from legal advice to random trivia. I so deeply regret that our child was only able to know him less than a single year and that any of our future children will know him only by our fondest memories. I greatly appreciate everything you have done for my family John.
~
Kenneth Chaulk, Tucson, Arizona

June 07, 2012

My deepest sympathies to the Dorgan family. John helped me with my siren issues on more than one occasion; he always took the time to be of assistance. I assure you the one he built for my M1A1 wrecker will wail for a long time in his memory.
RIP
~
John Kottke, Hamburg, Minnesota

June 03, 2012
My condolences and prayers for John and his family. I live in Phoenix and came to Tucson and purchased two lights on two different occasions. But I must say the highlight of my purchases was being able to visit with him to talk police and fire departments, and of course lights and sirens. May he rest in peace…we are now all a little more deprived of one of those wonderful people who cherished some much of our history. I was so privileged to be able to meet him.
~
Mark Anello, Fountain Hills, Arizona

May 26, 2012
I bought an old beacon and siren from John a number of years ago. I check back often and am very saddened to hear of John’s passing. My condolences to the family.
~
Rob Swearingen, Tallahassee, Florida

May 26, 2012
Dear Dorgan Family, My name is Paul Rutecki. My wife Kathy and I collect antique fire apparatus. John had helped us with past projects, and was always eager to share information or help in any way he could. I was always cheerfully greeted on the phone, or responded to quickly by email. He will be sorely missed. May I extend our deepest condolences, and heartfelt sympathies to Helen and the entire Dorgan family. You are all in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.
~
Paul Rutecki, Santa Margarita, California

May 24, 2012
I am touched and proud of my “big brother” John as I read the many kind and heartfelt notes in this guest book. What an incredible tribute to this amazing man, knowing he was held in such high esteem by his colleagues, customers and friends. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for sharing your thoughts of John and please know how precious they are to all of John’s family.
~
Sis O’Rourke, Norwood, Massachusetts

May 23, 2012
R.I.P JOHN FROM THE CREW IN FLORIDA
~
Eddie Dominguez, Pembroke Pines, Florida

May 23, 2012
My best regards to the Dorgan family and appreciation for all the help I got from John in the past ten years.
~
John Scully (Barrington, R.I.)

May 23, 2012
John Dorgan restored almost all of the lights and sirens on display in the Delaware State Police Museum, working with me over many years. It is one of the finest collections in the US, and will be a lasting legacy to his magnificent skill in a very unique niche. The collection is so huge it encompasses a wall in the Museum, and requires using a ladder to reach the top shelves! But most of all, John was kind, fun and a genuine person. God Bless!
~
Robert Herrington, Historian, Ocean View Police Department (Delaware)

May 21, 2012
My condolences and prayers to John’s family. I would like to say this about john, the first time I called John about a question on a beacon, John answered faster that what the manufacturer could. And then we started sharing war stories about what we liked to collect and have fun in rebuilding. His art will be missed but more will the knowledge and kind friendship that he made with everyone he spoke to. Thanks John, we will talk lights again someday. Tom Yenovkian, Fire Chief. Charlottesville, Virginia.
~
Tom Yenovkian, Charlottesville, Virginia

May 20, 2012
My thoughts and Prayers go out to the family and friends May the Lord comfort you in your time of sorrow.
~
Steve McMillan, Kalamazoo, Michigan

May 19, 2012
My condolences and prayers to John’s family. We are all John’s extended family. I will miss his professionalism of his art of expertism in his field. Nobody can take his place or fill his shoes. Thank you John for all your help to me in years past. Enjoy your new home in the promise of paradise until one day we meet again.
~
Kent Rogne, Applegate, California

May 19, 2012
To The Dorgan Family, From Maine, our best prayers and memories of all and to all John accomplished in service to our Country, to his family, friends, and his good works for so many! Respectfully, Kyle.
~
Kyle Wright, Liberty, Maine

May 19, 2012
My condolences to the Dorgan family in this time of your loss. John was a role model and mentor for those of us in the warning device community. Clarence Hawkins St. Paul Fire Department
~
Clarence Hawkins, St. Paul, Minnesota

May 19, 2012
Thanks for all your knowledge and support. You sure will be missed by all of us. The last thing I told your was keep up your health we need you…. But, apparently God needed U more…You will be missed. God Bless You My Friend. Sincerely Phillip Brunson Mobile, Alabama Sheriff’s Office.
~
Phillip Brunson, Mobile, Alabama

May 19, 2012
May all the sirens wail and growl, with a long coast! Rest in peace good friend. I remember the first time I met John, he had a booth up at a vintage emergency car show in Tucson, I am thinking 7 years ago. One little chat and we instantly became friends. I remember the first time I went over to his house to pick up some items he had found for me. He was very hospitable and was eager to show off his “Museum” to me! I was so excited and inspired by his collection. I was also amazed he did all that fantastic work from his little workshop! The patience, skill and devotion he put into each light or siren reflected upon his completed masterpiece. You will be greatly missed! You are immortal in your work, your creations and your reputation Siren man! Thank you for restoring all those wonderful sirens and bringing back their sweet sweet music to our ears!
~
Jenny, Arizona

May 19, 2012
So sorry for your loss. My prayers are with the Dorgan family and friends.
~
Carol Stuehm, Tucson, Arizona

May 18, 2012
Rest in peace John. Your presence will be missed. Your legacy will live on with us, our 1949 Seagrave Fire Engine will sport the Mars FL light, you restored, forever!!
~
Billings Fire Fighters IAFF Local 521, Billings, Montana

May 18, 2012
I extend my prayers and condolences to the Dorgan family. John will be missed in so many ways. He was an artisan in the hobby of vintage emergency vehicle equipment and left his mark on the collector world in a huge way. Godspeed, John. Thank you for your military service to this country as well. You will be remembered by many with your works and your knowledge for years to come.
~
Jamison Boehler, Hazen, North Dakota

May 18, 2012
Mr. Dorgan (as I knew him) was such a great guy…..I loved hanging out at the Dorgan’s home when I was younger. He will truly be missed by a family that admired and loved him so much. Peace be with you all.
~
Julie Bradford, Vail, Arizona

May 18, 2012
Thank you to all of you who have extended their sympathy and prayers. It is a blessing to read how many life’s he has touched and the memories you shared. Your kind words are so appreciated.
~
John Thomas Dorgan, Phoenix, Arizona

May 17, 2012
There are no words that i can say to make this amazing family feel better but I know he was a terrific man and he will be missed my condolences to you all
~
Alisha Asencio, Tucson, Arizona

May 17, 2012
My condolences to the Dorgan family for the loss of such an amazing man. I feel your pain and grief. Although I never fulfilled my wish to meet John, I have one of his beautiful restorations, and I know the perfection and care gleaming through is all John Dorgan. I wish you healing, peace, and lots of loving memories through this difficult time.
~
D L, Tacoma, Washington

May 17, 2012
I’m so sorry to hear that Mr. John Dorgan has passed away. I’ve ordered sirens over the phone with him and he was always a nice courteous guy. My regret is that I never got to meet him in person. My condolences go out to Mrs. Dorgan, his daughters, sons and rest of the family. My siren will be singing loud for you John. God Bless You
~
Martin M, Glendale, Arizona

May 17, 2012
My sincere condolences to the entire Dorgan family. I was fortunate enough to be introduced to John through Mt. Horeb WI. Fire Chief Chuck Himsel many years ago. John was pleasant and helpful whenever we had questions on sirens and lights. He was defiantly the “go to man” in the country for vintage warning equipment. His work was second to none, what a true icon! Fire Chief Rob Hough Mt. Morris Fire PD, Mt. Morris, IL
~
Rob Hough, Mt Morris, Illinois

May 17, 2012
John will be sorely missed by everyone in the antique emergency vehicle community–nationwide and likely also worldwide. Everyone talked so highly of John’s talent and true craftsmanship that he had in restoring lights & sirens. Last month I was in Indianapolis at FDIC & I heard someone mention his name while pointing to a light on an antique firetruck there. In Wisconsin, the last conversation I had with Chuck Himsel of Mt. Horeb, WI. FD in 2007 was about John’s lights, and in Kansas when we were doing fire musters everyone talked about his amazing craftsmanship. John will be sorely missed not only by his family, but also his nationwide extended family of antique emergency vehicle enthusiasts. Though no one will ever totally fill his shoes, I surely hope someone will carry on John’s tradition. God bless your soul John, and all of our thoughts and prayers are with you, his family.
~
Paul Dickman, Kansas City, Missouri

May 17, 2012
Grandpa I will miss you more than anything! You were the strongest man I knew! And deep down you were such a sweetheart. You are also one of the most intelligent people I have ever met. You could answer anybody’s question off the top of you head without even looking anything up. I will also miss that silly sense of humor you had. You impacted mine and many other lives throughout the years. I love you Grandpa and you will be greatly missed. Forever in my heart.
~
Candace Dorgan, Tucson, Arizona

May 16, 2012
Mr. D was the best. One of the nicest people I have ever met. My prayers go to his family. I had only known John for about seven years, but he always in that time was a real down to earth person. He always was willing to help the next guy.
~
Retired Batt.Chief. John Widdis. PFD. MI.

May 16, 2012
Huge fan of the siren site sorry for your loss may god be with you all during this hard time.
~
Thomas Black

May 16, 2012
To the Dorgan family, John will really be missed, especially by all his many friends in the Professional Car Society.
~
Peter and Donna Jennings, Ludowici, Georgia

May 16, 2012
Jim my heartfelt condolences to you and your family. I will keep you all in my prayers.
~
Dianah Ogden, Tucson, Arizona

May 16, 2012
Jim my prayers go out to you and your family.
~
Dianah Ogden, Tucson, Arizona

May 16, 2012
With sympathy to the Dorgan family…
Staff of Washburn & Dorsey Funeral Home, Bostic, NC
~
Kent Dorsey, Bostic, North Carolina

May 16, 2012
I would like to take a minute and say I am deeply sorry to hear about John’s passing. John was a good man and loved by a lot of people. We all at the Professional Car Society will miss him dearly. We were all blessed to be touched by such a great guy and friend. May John Rest In Peace.
~
Jonathon Fowers, Ogden, Utah

May 16, 2012
I love you grandpa!
~
Rybecca McCluskey, Lakeland, Georgia

May 16, 2012
Living two houses down from John and Helen most of my life allowed me the pleasure of John’s great smile and infectious laugh. My condolences and love to Helen, “litte Helen” Mary Ellen, Johnny, Jimmy & Joey. May you find comfort in each other.
~
Anissa Castano-Wojcicky, Tucson, Arizona

May 16, 2012
My condolences to the Dorgan family!!! He was truly a kind, generous and unique person!!! May he rest in peace!!!
Charlie Cohen…Buffalo Grove Il.
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Charlie Cohen, Buffalo Grove, Illinois

May 15, 2012
I never met John in person, but his knowledge was very useful, and helped me out a few times. My condolences to his family, may he rest in peace.
~
Richard Cook, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

May 15, 2012
Thanks, John. You were a gentleman, a friend and all that you did for so many of us will be remembered.
~
Bruce Wallace, Tulsa, Oklahoma

May 15, 2012
I never met John in person, but he was really helpful on my projects, I always appreciated his respect, his help and kindness and he will be missed a lot by those who share the same hobby. My sincere condolences to all his family.
~
Martin Harvey, Alma, Quebec

May 15, 2012
The hobby has lost an Icon, he’ll be sorely missed.
~
Patrol 530, Florida

May 15, 2012
My condolences on Johns passing. He will be missed.
~
Bill Ross, Ashland, Ohio

May 15, 2012
I’ve dealt with John for years, and have had many conversations via e-mail and telephone. He was a friend as well as a great asset to the hobbyist and collector that depended on him for products, repairs, parts, and advice. You’ll be missed, my friend!
~
Steve Loftin, McLoud, Oklahoma

May 15, 2012
John was an asset to our hobby, very generous with his wisdom and time. It was a pleasure to meet and spend time with him. He will be missed.
~
Steve Lichtman, Mt. Airy, Maryland

May 15, 2012
I’m very sorry for your loss.
~
Scott Crittenden, New Britain, Connecticut

May 15, 2012
Condolences to the entire Dorgan family, I have said prayers for John. Just know what a great man he was, and keep the memories alive. I also appreciate his service to our country.
~
Doug Kelley, Howell, Michigan

May 15, 2012
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Peter Fraser, Nova Scotia, Canada

May 14, 2012
To the family of Mr. Dorgan, condolences to you from me and all the crew over on Elightbars where John was the man to go to about vintage lights.\J He will be GREATLY missed 🙁
~
Chad Munsey, Elmira, New York

May 14, 2012
Go With God my friend…You will be missed in this hobby..
~
Jay Anthony, Jax, Florida

May 14, 2012
Prayers to the Dorgan family. May you rest in peace Sirenman.
~
Anita & Bob Ford, Pennsylvania

May 14, 2012
I would like to offer my condolences and prayers to the friends and family of John in this difficult time. John, it is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye. I know you are looking down right now, amazed at how respected you were to all of us here in this hobby. I will miss picking that encyclopedic brain of yours and our conversations about what would be the correct way to restore something and what would be sacrilege. As I look at some of the items you’ve helped me restore or that you personally have restored for me over the years, I want to thank you one last time for putting up with all my questions as well as for the effort you’ve spent on restoring these lights and sirens that I will treasure and display with pride. These are your masterpieces and they will forever have a place in my home and in my heart. Farewell my friend, and rest well.
~
Chuck Pranski, Pike County Communications, Matamoras, Pennsylvania

May 14, 2012
My condolences, prayers, thoughts and SOO much more to the Dorgan family. This was definitely an end of an era, but may his legacy live on in all of us! Sirenman, may the siren forever wail in your name. R.I.P. John
~
Eric Bienefeld, Hemet, California

May 14, 2012
My deepest regard to his family. He will be missed
~
David Foley FF/EMT, Reading, Pennsylvania

May 14, 2012
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Jordan Phillips, Chattanooga, Tennessee

May 14, 2012
Sorry for your loss, my thoughts and prayers are with your family.
~
Barry Jones, Virginia

May 14, 2012
My condolences and prayers to the Dorgan family.
~
Frank Jones, Houston, Texas

May 14, 2012
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Ray Haney, Russellville, Arkansas

May 14, 2012
~
John Marcson, Bowling Green, Ohio

Integrity, Honor, and Respect
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