John Thomas McElveen – Lieutenant Colonel, United States Air Force

From a press report of December 24, 1995:

John Thomas McElveen, 72, a former Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and one of the pioneers to pilot the U-2 spy plane, died Sunday at his residence. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. January 3, 1996 in Fort Myers Post Chapel in Arlington, Virginia. Burial, with military honors, will be in Arlington National Cemetery, according to McMillan-Small Funeral Home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Mr. McElveen was born in Salley,South Carolina, a son of John H. McElveen and Margaret Pendleton McElveen. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps at the age of 17, six days after the attack on Pearl Harbor and flew 51 fighter missions in the European Theater. He also flew reconnaissance over Eastern Europe during the Korean War.

In 1957 he was recruited into the top secret U-2 program. The 4080th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, of which McElveen was a member, received three Presidential Citations for its work, making it one of the most-decorated peacetime units in American military history.

He was a graduate of Clemson University.

Surviving are his wife, Madeline Bonneau Brown McElveen; a son, Dr. John T. McElveen Jr. of Raleigh, North Carolina.; two daughters, Bonnie McElveen-Hunter of Greensboro, N.C., and Tweed McElveen-Bo-gache of Myrtle Beach; two brothers, Eugene P. McElveen of Fairfax and Howell D. McElveen of Columbia; and two grandchildren.

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