Originally from Campbell Hall, Orange County, John Ringlehan has called Rome, New York, home for most of this life.
Deployed to the European Theatre, John served in the United States Army Air Corps, and was part of a crew that flew a B-24 Liberator out of Cerignola, Italy as part of the 451st Bomb Group of the 744th Squadron. John’s crew flew 19 combat missions with 26 sorties. On July 28, 1944, John and his crew were shot down. He and the survivors were held as POWs in a camp in Bucharest, Romania for nearly two months.
Following the end of WWII, John spent several years as a tradesman, but subsequently returned to the Air Force in 1949. John continued his flight career, being stationed from bases in Puerto Rico, Texas, and here in New York.
After his retirement from active service in 1969, John has remained committed to veterans’ organizations. As well as being a member of his local American Legion and VFW Posts, he has been involved with the local Disabled American Veterans chapter, the Polish Legion of American Veterans, and is still a current Senior Advisor to the Mohawk Chapter of the Air Force Sergeant’s Association.
For his valor on the battlefield and meritorious service, John earned the Prisoner Of War Medal, American Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Ribbon w/ 4 Bronze Stars, Good Conduct Medal, the Air Medal with four clusters and the Vietnam Service Medal.
Having proudly served his country in World War II and devoted more than 60 years of service to his Rome, NY community, John is deserving of special recognition with this veteran class of New York State. John David Ringlehan is hereby inducted as a member of the 2012 New York State Senate’s Veterans Hall of Fame.