John E. Merriman – Colonel, United States Air Force

John E. Merriman, 84, a retired Air Force Colonel who served in two wars and worked on the Apollo spaceflight missions, died of complications of emphysema December 6, 2006, at Inova Alexandria Hospital. He lived in Alexandria, Virginia.

Colonel Merriman, a native of Tekoa, Washington, attended Gonzaga University before joining the Army Air Forces early in World War II. Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, he piloted a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber with the 8th Air Force in Europe.

After he had left the Air Force, he was recalled to active duty during the Korean War and flew 50 combat missions.

His military decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross.

In his postwar assignments, Colonel Merriman worked on the Atlas and Minuteman missile projects. He also headed recovery operations for some of the Apollo spaceflight missions and served on the staff of the Joint Chiefs.

After retiring from the Air Force in 1971, Colonel Merriman worked as a real estate agent for a number of firms, including Town & Country Properties, Mount Vernon Realty, Roberts & Lloyd and Long & Foster Realtors.

Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Geneieve Merriman of Alexandria; three children, Tim Merriman of Goodyear, Ariz., Mari Pat Eisenbarger of Austin and Majken Woods of Spokane, Wash.; a sister; and seven grandchildren.


Age 84, on December 6, 2006, in Alexandria, VA. He is survived by his wife, three children, and seven grandchildren. A graveside service will be held on Monday, January 22 at 3 p.m. in Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of the donor's choice.

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