The following information was released by the Los Alamitos Chamber of Commerce.
Taking off as the pilot of a B-47 on the morning of Feb. 4, 1967, was going to be as routine for USC student Col. John Fer, as it had been for 54 other combat missions with the Strategic Air Command in Viet Nam. Born and raised in San Pedro, California, he cut short his college days for his lifelong desire to fly by attending the U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs. It would be a 28 year career with the Air Force.
In 1966, he checked out in the EB-66C until that fateful day in February a year later, when his plane was shot down and he was captured, becoming a prisoner-of-war (POW) for six long years.
Col. Fer was returned to U.S. control on March 4, 1973. Following repatriation, he served in various staff assignments in the United States, including two tours at the Pentagon, one as Chief of the Air Force Academy, Activities Group, and the other as the Secretary of Defenses’ principal advisor for POW and MIA affairs. He completed military service in 1990 at the rank of Colonel.
He holds two Masters Degrees, one in Political Sciences from Auburn University and another in Educational Administration from the University of South Carolina. Col. Fer began teaching government, became a school administrator and was the principal of three Catholic elementary schools.
Colonel John Fer
6 year POW
He is currently the Director of Ministries at Mary Star of the Sea Parish in San Pedro.
Col. Fer and his wife Nancy have three grown children. One of his sons is a Foreign Service officer with the Department of State, and his other son is a Catholic elementary school assistance principal. His daughter is an early childhood education school teacher.
Col. Fer holds the Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC); Purple Heart; Defense Superior Service Medal; POW Medal; Bronze Star with Valor and OLC; Army Meritorious Service Medal; Distinguished Flying Cross; Air Force Commendation Medal with OLC; Vietnam Service Medal; Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal; Air Force Meritorious Medal with OLC; the Air Medal with four OLC; and the Legion of Merit with OLC.
The breakfast is $20 Chamber members, $25 for non-members.
It will be held at Courtyard by Marriott, 5865 Katella Ave. in Cypress.
Please respond by noon on May 3 by calling the Los Alamitos Chamber of Commerce at 562-598-6659 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo of Colonel John Fer courtesy of the Los Alamitos Area Chamber of Commerce.
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