July 1943 - October 1943
Cal-Aero Flight Academy - Ontario, CA
John learned to fly at Cal-Aero Flight Academy, an independent flying school when WW II started. The Army Air Force contracted with the school to provide primary flight training for Army Air Cadets. During the war, Cal-Aero operated the training base with Stearmans and BT-13s.
At Primary School the cadet learns take-offs and landings, simple flight maneuvers and elementary acrobatics from a light, open two-seater plane with dual controls. Stearman biplanes were a commonly used trainer with the student seated in the front and the instructor in the rear.
The instructor would give directions through a speaking tube funnel, which was attached by a rubber hose to the cadet’s cloth helmet earpieces. The cadet had no way of talking back to the instructor while in the airplane. John’s training included landings, take-offs, spins, stalls, rolls, timed turns and simulated forced landings.