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John Richard Stummer

biography

My hometown is Quaker Hill, CT which is a subdivision of Waterford, CT. Waterford didn't have a high school, so I graduated from New London High School in 1959.
Then I attended Duke University on an NROTC scholarship. I took the Marine option, went to OCS at Quantico in the summer between my junior and senior years. On graduation from Duke in 1963, I was commissioned a 2lt, USMC, and married my wife of 58 years, Laraine, nee Unser.
The Basic School at Quantico started my Marine career. Upon completion I started flight training at NAS Pensacola. That course took me from NAS Pensacola to Nas Meridian, MS, back to Pensacola, and on to NAS Kingsville, TX. I was designated a Naval Aviator on July 25, 1965 and received orders to VMA 331 at MCAS Beaufort, SC.
On April 26,1966 I departed CONUS for RVN. I was assigned to VMA 214, Blacksheep, in MAG 12 at MCAS Chu Lai, RVN. In November 1966 I was assigned to H&MS 12 where I served on the MAG 12 staff as OIC of Classified Materials while I continued flying with VMA 214. When VMA 214 was rotated to CONUS, just the squadron title not the people in it, I continued flying with VMA 311, Tomcats. By the end of my tour I had flown 150 combat missions.
June 2 1967, I returned to CONUS with orders to report to VT 7 at NAS Meridian, MS as a flight instructor. I flew in that capacity until September 1968, when I left the Marines for Northwest Airlines in Minneapolis, MN.
My career at Northwest Airlines started on 10/07/1968 and ended 33 years later with compulsory retirement at age 60 on 10/23/2001. During that time I flew the 707, 727, DC 10, 747, and 757. I was type rated, captain qualified, on the 727, 747, 757, and 767. The last six years of my career I was a captain on the 747 flying transpacific and Asian routes out of our base in Anchorage, Alaska. Subsequent to the merger of Northwest and Delta Airlines, I became a retired Delta captain.
We loved living in Alaska, so we stayed here post retirement. We have travelled extensively since retirement, almost exclusively in Europe with some time in Hawaii during the winters. Anchorage to Frankfurt is only 9 ½ hours nonstop. So, reaching Europe from here was, prior to COVID, really convenient.

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