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John Ghere

John R. Ghere

1934-

Col. John R. Ghere was commissioned as a cavalry officer on August 3, 1958 after graduating from Central Michigan University and completion of ROTC training. He entered active duty November 2, 1958 at Ft. Knox, Kentucky. After attending the officer basic course at Ft. Knox, he was assigned to A Company, 32 Tank Battalion, Ft. Stewart, Georgia. Ghere remained in the 32nd Tank Battalion until he was selected for flight training at Fort Rucker, Alabama where he graduated from fixed-wing school class 60-4 and received his Army wings on July 22, 1960. He was then assigned to the 7th Infantry Division in the Republic of Korea where he served as the 2nd Brig. Flight Aviation Commander for his one-year tour of duty.

Ghere returned to the US and was assigned to the 11th Air Assault Division, Fort Benning, GA. He was one of the leaders in the development phase of the Air Cavalry concept of helicopter weapons systems and air cavalry tactics. In July 1965, Ghere arrived in the Republic of Viet Nam with the advance party of the 1st Air Cavalry Division. He served as executive officer, platoon commander, section leader and as a pilot of a helicopter gun ship in B Troop, 1/9th Air Cavalry Squadron, where he accumulated 505 combat flying hours. In July 1968, Ghere joined the Michigan National Guard where he served for 20 years. He commanded the aviation unit in Grand Ledge for four years from 1971-1975 and was instrumental in developing the Helicopter door gunner training and helicopter aerial rocket training at Camp Grayling. He has commanded at all levels and served on the Michigan State HQ staff as the State civil disturbance operations training officer.

In 1988, Ghere retired from the Michigan National Guard at which time he joined the US Army Reserve and was attached to the Michigan State Police as Army liaison. He remained in this position until retirement in October 1994, thus ending 36 years of service in the US Army.

In July 1968, Ghere joined the Michigan National Guard where he served for 20 years. He commanded the aviation unit in Grand Ledge for four years from 1971-1975 and was instrumental in developing the Helicopter door gunner training and helicopter aerial rocket training at Camp Grayling. He has commanded at all levels and served on the Michigan State HQ staff as the State civil disturbance operations training officer.

In 1988, Ghere retired from the Michigan National Guard at which time he joined the US Army Reserve and was attached to the Michigan State Police as Army liaison. He remained in this position until retirement in October, 1994, thus ending 36 years of service in the US Army.

Military decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal w/22 OLC, Army Commendation Medal and others. He owns and operates his own airfield, Gorilla Aerodrome, at Onondaga, Michigan, which is on his 600-acre farm just south of Lansing. After 1997 he leased the farm out and now enjoys family time and his aviation hobbies still on his home farm.

Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program