John Carleton Healey – Colonel, United States Air Force

Submitted by his daughter, Sharon Healey Bartholomew, from a contemporary press report:

Colonel John C. “Jack” Healey, 85, U.S. Air Force (Retired), died May 27, 1996. He participated in two of the most notable home front projects of World War II, the development of the atomic bomb, and the construction of the Alaska Highway.

Colonel Healey was born in London, Ontario, Canada, a son of Anthony and Louise Ryan Healey. He graduated from the University of Michigan. He worked as a reporter for newspapers: The Herald and Review in Decatur, Illinois, The Item-Tribune in New Orleans, Louisiana, and The Enquirer and News in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Healey was ordered to active duty in World War II and was assigned to the construction division of the Army Corps of Engineers with duty at Fort Custer, Michigan, and later to the Fairbanks, Alaska District of the Corps of Engineers, which office supervised the construction of the Alaska Highway north of the Canadian border.

Colonel Healey was later assigned to the headquarters of the Manhattan Project at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., on the staff of General L. R. Groves, during the last two years of the atomic bomb development program.

After World War II, he was assigned to the armed forces special weapons projects. During this period, he transferred from the Army to the Air Force. Colonel Healey's assignments included the 4th Air Force at Hamilton Air Force Base, California, Kadena Air Force Base, Okinawa, and the Air War College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. Subsequent tours of duty were at McClellan AFB, Sacramento, California, and Robins AFB, Warner Robins, Georgia, where he retired in 1968. The family then moved to Virginia Beach. Colonel Healey earned his masters degree from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Boothe (Francis) Healey; a daughter, Sharon Healey Bartholomew; a son, Michael G. Healey; eight grandchildren: Heather Healey; Chester Gorman III; Brian Fuller; Tori Hoehler; Kirsten Hoehler; Michael Bartholomew; David Bartholomew ; and Liana Flower; and seven great-grandchildren: Shawn Bartholomew; Travis and Tyler Flower; Sarah and Ryan Bartholomew; and Ashley and Alexander Gorman. He was a member of the Harbor Club in Norfolk, Virginia; the Rotary Club of Warner-Robins, Georgia; Old Donation Episcopal Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia; Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity; Michigamua, a senior honor society at the University of Michigan; and the alumni associations of the University of Michigan and the College of William and Mary. He was president of Michigamua during his senior year at the University of Michigan, while Gerald Ford, the future president of the United States, was a member. He loved music, especially big bands, old movies, the military, cheering for Michigan's football team, all things Irish and the game of golf, which he played well into his 70's.

Mary Lyons (Gorton) Healey, wife of Colonel John Carleton Healey, was born September 7, 1920 in Flint, Michigan, the only child of Wallace and Kathryn (Lyons) Gorton. Mary and Lieutenant John Carleton Healey were married June 24, 1941, in Bryan, Ohio. They had two children, Sharon Kathryn Healey and Michael Gorton Healey. At the age of 28, Mrs. Healey was diagnosed with breast cancer. She died on May 19, 1952, at age 31, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and is buried next to Colonel Healey at Arlington National Cemetery. She loved to dance, play the piano, life as a military wife and living in Washington, D.C.

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