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U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
John M. High, Col., USAF (Retired)January 22, 1935 – August 09, 2009
Col. John M. High, USAF (Ret) (January 22, 1935 – August 9, 2009)
A man with his heart in the clouds.
John M. High III, 74, of Anacortes, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, August 9, 2009 at his home. He was born in New York City, New York on January 22, 1935, the son of Leonore E. Morrill and John M. High II. John moved to California at a young age where he attended John Burroughs High School in Burbank, participating in track, football and tennis.
He attended the University of California, Berkeley from 1952 to 1957 where he played football, was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, and met his wife of 51 years, Dorette Claire Dufour. Married shortly after college in Winterhaven, Fl., the young John High embarked upon his much beloved military career as an Air Force pilot. A distinguished graduate of Squadron Officers School in 1963, John attended pilot training in Enid, Oklahoma. From 1965 until 1966, he served as the standardization pilot for the Jolly Green Giants (Air Rescue Helicopters) in the Vietnam War and saved downed American pilots trapped behind enemy lines. He subsequently was assigned to Okinawa Japan as Commander with rescue responsibility for U.S. Forces in the Ryuku Islands. Following a tour in the Pentagon, John was assigned to be Commander of the 22nd Military Airlift Squadron. This unit operates the C-5A airplanes, the largest aircraft in the world, on transport missions around the globe. After 23 years of service in the Air Force and having moved his family 14 times all over the world, John High retired as a full Colonel with an MBA from the Air War College. His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Air Medals and Meritorious Service Medal.
After his Military service John worked in marketing at the Hughes Aircraft Company in Los Angeles, where he served as the liaison between the company and the Air Force. After 10 years of service, he retired to Sandpoint, Idaho, where he and his wife, Dorette, owned and operated the Bottle Bay Resort for 12 years. Dorette and John High moved to Anacortes, Washington in 2001.
John M. High III is survived by his wife Dorette, two sons, John IV of Sacramento, CA and Steve and his wife Katie of Newport Beach, CA, two grand-daughters, Mary and Ann, and sister, Leonore Jackson.
A private family graveside with full military honors will be held at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, WA.
Arrangements are in the care of Evans Funeral Chapel and Crematory, Inc., Anacortes, WA and the San Juan Islands.
To share memories of John please sign the online guest register at www.evanschapel.com
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