CW5 John Howard Ranson, Jr – 13 October,1950 – 27 March, 2024

John grew up in Andrews South Carolina and joined the Army in Juhe 1969 upon graduation from Andrews High School. After Basic Combat Training and Flight School he was assigned to duty in the Republic of Viet Nam in 1971 where he flew the AH-1 Cobra Gunship for 173rd Assault Helicopter Company.

When John became a member of the South Carolina Army National Guard, he first flew with HHB, 151st Field Artillery Aviation Section.  CPT Don Burson was the section leader and SSG Tony Wilson was the senior enlisted member.  As an experienced former Viet Nam pilot returnee, he flew OH-58A and UH-1H helicopters in support of the Brigade.

John became a member of the 659th Med Detachment at the time the Detachment was formed at McEntire.  When the 659th Med Det went away, he was reassigned to 1259th Med Company (Air Ambulance) that organized replacing the Detachment. 

John later became a full time Instructor Pilot at Army Aviation Support Facility (AASF) at McEntire.  While working in this capacity at AASF, he flew the Beach Queen Air and King Air, C-12 and C-26 aircraft and was qualified as a Standardization Instructor Pilot in OH-58, UH1, UH-60, U8, U21, C12 and C26 aircraft.

In 2009 -2010 he was deployed to Kosovo with the Blackhawks. 

John retired from the Guard with 40 years of military service.  His entire military career was all aviation. 

The following quotes are from colleagues and friends:

“Very deeply saddened to learn of John’s passing. John was an exceptional leader, standards bearer, mentor, aviator and friend of so many people. John was inducted into the South Carolina Army Warrant Office Hall of Fame in 2011 in honor of his exemplary service. His awards over the years speak volumes about his loyal dedication to the responsibilities he mastered over the years. John’s Vietnam and Kosovo service speaks for itself. He stepped up and shouldered the risks and responsibilities of service in harm’s way. To be selected following completion of initial flight training for Cobra qualification, is evidence that the army recognized his superior aviator skills early on. Unless providentially hindered, I look forward to standing with so many of his friends and family to honor his legacy. So many of us are better having known and served with John.”

“Susan, So sorry to hear of John’s passing. John and I spent many great hours flying the C-12 and C-26 in and out of the country. He was one of the best pilots I had the opportunity to fly and work with.”

“John was one of my best friends while we were in Andrews High.  He, Danny Edwards, and Walter Porter were as close as friends can be. Some of our AHS friends may remember that the four of us formed a rock and roll band while we were in 10 – 12th grades. John taught me a lot about music. He was brilliant. Improved my guitar and piano playing immensely. I’ve tried my best for years to find and make contact with John, Danny and Walter through friends, family and Internet with no success. Because I’ve lived all over the world since H.S. graduation I’ve lost contact with most of my H.S. friends, and I miss them all. This news about his death deeply saddens me.”