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Owner of Cola Wealth Advisors Honors Memory of Air Corps Veteran in Fly-By

As a firm with multiple retired members of the US Air Force, Cola Wealth harbors a deep appreciation for the lives and efforts of our nation's veterans. So, when Dr. John B. Clark Jr. approached a fellow retired Air Force member and asked for help in honoring his late father John Blue Clark, a pilot and instructor for the Army Air Corps, we happily agreed. On Sunday, June 6, 2021, friends and family gathered for a memorial service on the grounds of Clarkton Cemetery and looked up in astonishment to see a bright blue-and-yellow biplane flashing in the mid-morning sun over the gravesite.

When John Blue Clark attempted to join the Air Force in 1942, he was told there was a desperate need for people to train pilots. So instead, he joined the reserves for the Army Air Corps and served as a flight instructor during WWII. In addition to his tireless teaching efforts, he worked as a civilian pilot flying DC4s throughout Northern Europe and North Africa, carrying highly ranked military officers, United Service Organization tours on their way to entertain troops, and even brought injured soldiers back from the horrific Bataan March in 1942. In 1944, Mr. Clark was hired by American Airlines and began his career there. Throughout his career, he continued his passion for teaching and researched how to make air travel safer; publishing instructive articles, giving speeches and seminars, and even heading the APA Central Training Committee for American Airlines Pilots. Even well into his retirement years, while living independently in the Springmoor Retirement community, he remained active in helping others, including continuing his service of transportation as he drove fellow residents to appointments.

In honor of this truly giving and passionate veteran, another pilot, co-piloted by his young daughter, flew over the memorial service in a 1941 Stearman bi-plane, the same aircraft that the late John Blue Clark trained pilots to fly in WWII. Dr. John Clark Jr. expressed his gratitude, saying "I am really excited about this wonderful surprise for our family and for the willingness to be part of a special acknowledgment of another pilot's career and life!"