Library of Congress Wright Photo 3G7
Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, June 22, 1927.
North Island, San Diego, CA. 1916
from AEROSPACE HISTORIAN, Vol. 27, No. 3, Summer/June 1980
Pictured above are members of the U.S. Signal Corps Aviation School of 1916, courtesy of Maj. Gen. Kendall, USAF (Ret.). General Russell found the photograph among his father's (Brig. Gen. Clinton W. Russell, Air Corps) memorabilia. Among those pictured is Carl Spaatz, first Air Force Chief of Staff. According to General Russelll, the picture indicates the spelling as "Spatz" and dates prior to his adding an a to improve the odds on strangers' correct pronunciation.
Lt. J. F. Curry was a member of this graduating class and may be seen in the top row, first on the left.
Born April 22, 1886 in New York City to Dr. and Mrs. James F. Curry.
Graduated from West Point 1908 with B. S. degree. Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant and advanced through grades to Major General, October, 1940.
Aeronautical ratings include: Pilot and Expert Aviator No. 51 Aero Club of America, Junior Military Aviator, Military Aviator, Pilot, Combat Observer and Command Pilot, U. S. Army
Post graduate Schools Completed:
1915-16 Signal Coprs Aviation School, North Island, San Diego, California. This is now the site of Halsey Field.
1924 A. S. Engineer School, McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio.
1928 A. C. Technical School, Langley Field, Va.
1929 Command and General Staff School, Ft.Leavenworth, Kansas.
1936 Army War College, Washington, D.C.
Highlights of career:
Joined 1st. Aero Squadron, Pershing Expedition into Mexico, May, 1916
1917 Ordered to Honolulu to command 6th Aero Squadron and to select a site for a field for Aviation Sea Coast Defense. Selected and arranged the purchase by the Army of Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Worl War I. 1st Commander of Ellington Field Bombing School.
Overseas Chief of Staff, 2nd Army Air Service. Shot down in Toul Sector and later with some others credited with destruction of a German Observation balloon. with some others credited with destruction of a German Observation balloon.
1920-23 Department Air Officer, Hawaiian Department.
1924-27 Chief Air Service
Engineering Division, McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio.
1931-35 Commandant Air Corps Tactical School, Maxwell Field. Maxwell Field built up during those years.
1936-38 War Department General Staff, Washington, D. C.
1938-40 C. O. Hamilton Field, California.
1941 to June 1944, C. G. Western Technical Training Command.
1944-45 Chief A.F. Evaluation Board, Mediterranean Theatre of Operations.
Retired October 31, 1945, after over 41 years service, 30 of which were in aviation.
Decorations and Citations:
U. S. -- Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Citation for distinguished service as first National Commander of the Civil Air Patrol.
V. F. W. Distinguished citizenship medal - 1954.
France -- Officer, Legion of Honor and Etoile Noire.
Vital Statistics - all living:
Married Eleanor Dorothy Montgomery, January 4, 1921 in Honolulu, T. H. Two daughters, Sheila (Mrs. Duane DeKalb) and Joan. Two grandchildren, Duane C. and Becky DeKalb.
Home Address --- 520 Elm Street, Denver 20, Colorado.
Since retirement very active in civic activities.
Director Aviation Colorado 1946, Director Aviation Denver, 1947.
Chairman Red Rocks Music Festival, 1947-49.
Director Denver Chapter Red Cross, 3 years.
Vice President, Denver Area Council Boy Scouts --- 7 years.
Board member, Vice President and President, Denver Branch English Speaking Union.
Board member Alliance Francaise.
Consultant Ramo-Wooldridge, and has served as chairman or participant in many other civic activities.
Library of Congress Collection, 9-14-07
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, 1961
Major General John F. Curry died in Fitzimmons General Hospital in Denver March 3, 1973, a few weeks before he would have been 87
years of age. He was born in New York City April 22, 1886.
He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1908. He learned to fly in 1915 at the Signal Corps Aviation School at San Diego; joined the Pershing Expedition into Mexico as a pilot in 1916. In World War I he served as Chief of Staff of the Second Army Air Service, was shot down in the San Mihiel sector and is officially credited with the destruction of one German balloon. During World War II he commanded the Second Air Force at Spokane, the Civil Air Patrol at Washington, D.C. and the Western Training Command in Denver.
Upon his retirement, after 41 years of military service, General Curry chose Denver as his home. He is survived by his wife Eleanore Montgomery Curry and two daughters.
January 1974, Number 80
Highly Recommended Links for Further Reading:
Major General John F. Curry:
The ALLSTAR Network site (Aeronautics Learning Laboratory for Science, Technology and Research) is designed as a resource for students and teachers. I find it to be very valuable and recommend it highly. It has an extensive collection of links to "Minorities in Aeronautics", "Heroes and People in Aeronautics", and "Aeronautical Organizations." You may visit the sites by clicking on the titles above.