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John Affleck Dunning was born in San Antonio, Texas, in 1914. After graduation from Main Avenue High School, he attended Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., and on Jan. 21, 1938 was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Missouri National Guard.

He attended primary and advanced flying school at Randolph Field, Texas, and graduated in February 1939. Aug. 15, 1939, he was commissioned a second lieutenant, Regular Air Force, and assigned to Randolph Field as a flying instructor. In October 1941, General Dunning was transferred to Foster Field as assistant commanding officer, First Training Group and served in this capacity until June 1942 when he was made director of gunnery for Foster Field, Matagorda Island and Matagorda Peninsula. In September 1943, General Dunning was reassigned to the China-India-Burma Theater as operations officer of the Chinese-American Composite Wing. In December 1943, he was appointed operations officer of the 5th Fighter Group which he later commanded. General Dunning is a China Ace with five Japanese aircraft to his credit.

Returning to the Zone of the Interior in June 1945, he reported first to Napier Field, Ala., as deputy commander. In November 1943, Colonel Dunning was reassigned to Randolph Field, Texas, where he served as command recruiting officer until March 1946 at which time he was appointed director of flying training and later assistant commandant of Williams Air Force Base, Ariz. He returned to Randolph in November 1946 and was appointed director of primary flying. Later, and through December 1948 he served as commander of the 3510th Basic Pilot Training Group.

In December 1948, as the Chinese Communists were invading China, General Dunning reported to Nanking as air attach and was present during the evacuation of the Chinese-Nationalist forces. He was incarcerated by the Chinese Communists and held until Aug. 5, 1949. At this time General Dunning piloted the C-47 which evacuated Dr. J. Leighton Stuart, American Ambassador and others from China. During the period September 1949 - June 1955, General Dunning commanded the 20th Fighter Group and Wing at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Langley Air Force Base, Va., and Wethersfield Air Station, England.

During General Dunning's tour, the 20th Fighter Wing was sent on temporary duty to England in 1950 for six months. They used the North Atlantic Route to ferry the first Wing of F-84s to Europe. Upon return to the United States, the 20th Fighter Bomber Wing was responsible for training many of the jet pilots for duty with the U.S. Air Forces in Korea in addition to its normal temporary duties.

During 1951, General Dunning made a two-week tour of fighter bases in Korea and was able to fly several F-84 missions against the enemy to see first hand how the war was being fought and to use first hand information for his training in the U.S. The 20th was the first atomic-capable fighter unit to be deployed overseas.

After attending the National War College during 1955 - 1956, General Dunning was assigned to the Directorate of Plans, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, as chief, Joint Plans Branch, War Plans Division, and later as assistant chief, War Plans Division. In February 1958, General Dunning was designated assistant Air Force member, Joint Strategic Plans Committee and served in this capacity until September 1958, when he was appointed deputy director for war plans, Directorate of Plans, Deputy Chief of Staff/Plans and Programs, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.


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