Jack Ballenger - WWII B-25
| Jack Ballenger, our guest speaker at the November 17th meeting of the
Pacific Coast Air Museum, will share many memorable experiences he
recalls from B-25 training and over the Poe Valley in Northern Italy: to
include his flying the last combat mission of WWII over Italy on April 25,
Born in Texas on New Year's Day, 1923, Jack was taken as a six-month- old infant to the Los Angeles area.
After sundry wartime related teenage
jobs, when he was but twenty years old, at the encouragement of an uncle,
Colonel Nissley (USAF), stationed at Luke AFB, Phoenix, he signed up for
the Army Air Corps, where after training deployment at no less than six
Western stateside Air Bases, he earned his Officer's Flight Wings in June,
His desire was to fly pursuit planes, but he was assigned to the B- 25.
Following the War's closure, through the GI Bill, he attained his teaching
credential at USC, where he met, and in 1947, married a fellow aspirant,
Mary, ultimately engaging "non-stop" grammar school teaching in the Los
Angeles Area, in Campbell near San Jose, at the Bennett Valley School in
Santa Rosa, and at the Sebastopol Elementary School in the '60s; finally
retiring in 1978.
Since then, he has "kept more than busy," steadfastly engaging many altruistic commitments, to include being one of the very first docents at the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens in 1982, along with similar dedication -- also "non-stop" -- as a docent at the Jack London State Park over the past about fifteen years.
Jack and Mary have three professional-career children, along with five grandchildren who are well on their way to "fame and fortune." This past Spring Jack pleasurably attended a several day reunion of "B- 25ers" at the Hilton Hotel in San Francisco, which was enjoyed by several hundred attendees from "all over . . . ."
New Location:Mesa Beverage Company, Inc.
3200 N. Laughlin Road. Santa Rosa, CA
Directions: From Santa Rosa, take Highway 101 North and exit at Airport Blvd. Turn left on Laughlin Road toward the museum. The Mesa building is located on the left side of the street just past the museum and Nob Hill south gate.
Don't miss the next one!