Maj John Edward Riley

Major John Edward Riley of the USAF, my grandfather, began as an enlisted soldier in WWII. He worked as a civil engineer in the war front in the Pacific. He later fought in the Korean War and became a commissioned officer retiring with the Air Force Reserve. He received the Purple Heart for narrowly dodging a crashing enemy airplane during WWII by jumping many feet off a high tower on an aircraft carrier. Then he blew out his eardrum, permanently damaging his hearing because they were firing large guns below. I found out much of this long after he passed away. Like a lot of heroes, he rarely talked about his service. But grandpa would mention his dislike of rice when we were going out to eat at a restaurant; he said that is all he ate in Japan.

Submitted by Justin Riley