John O'Connor
John passed away October, 2017
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The Dawn Patrol's Can Do member
In his replica WWI ambulance
built in cooperation with Dave Laur, another Dawn Patrol member.

John was a navy veteran of World War II. He enlisted in the navy at the age of 17. In WWII John served on the destroyer tender, USS Shenandoah AD-26 from 1945 – 1946. He worked as a technician rebuilding and repairing gyro compasses. He also had the enviable job of running the movie projector on the fantail of the Sheanandoan on movie night. That, he says, was good duty.

John was being trained as a driver for a LCVP landing craft attack boat for the land assault on Japan when the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If that hadn't happened, and the land assault had happened, John's pretty sure he would not be here today.

After the war John got his pilot’s license. He then went on to obtain his Certified Flight Instructor ticket. John is certified to teach in single and multi-engined aircraft, land and seaplane. He  is also a licensed A and P (airframe and power plant) Mechanic  .

John and another Dawn Patrol member, Dave Laur, built the Dawn Patrol’s Official Crash Truck and WWI ambulance.

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17 year old recruit in boot camp
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AD-26, the USS Shenandoah, destroyer tender
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The Gyro compass gang.... sitting on a pile of depth charges!!
John is the top left.

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The projector shack on the fantail of the Shenadoah with John (on the left) looking through to hole.
Again, notice all the stacked depth charges under them.

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After the war.
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John O'Connor and Dave Laur stand with their creation. It's a 3/4 scale replica of a 1915 WWI Ford Model T
Ambulance.It was made from the chassis of a wrecked golf cart.It's also the designated Kansas City Dawn Patrol