Retired Maj. Gen France buried; flew 239 combat missions in Vietnam
Retired Maj. Gen. John L. France, Colorado’s longest-serving adjutant general, was buried Monday with full military honors at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver.
France, who was the Colorado National Guard’s adjutant general from 1979 to 1995, died Oct. 15 at age 82, according to a National Guard statement. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1952 and served in California, Texas, South Korea and Japan before joining the National Guard in 1958.
France, who in 1968 flew 239 combat missions during the Vietnam War, was also a member of the Minute Men, the first and only federally recognized aerial demonstration team in the Air National Guard’s history, the statement said. The F-86 Sabre fighter jet he flew with the team is on display at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo.
France was promoted to major general in 1982, and after retiring in 1995, he served as president of the National Guard Association of the United States and the Adjutants General Association of the United States.
“We have lost a great American — a legend in our time,” the statement quoted Maj. Gen. H. Michaels Edwards, Colorado’s current adjutant general, as saying. “Our community, state and nation owe so much to this citizen warrior whose legacy will continue to inspire future generations of National Guard soldiers and airmen.”