Flying Tigers AVG Board

Topic : John J. Dean

Posted By: RLWillett on August 31, 2010, 12:35 pm
I am looking for information on John J. Dean who was from St. Peter, MN, joined China National Aviation Corporation after the AVG disbanded, and was killed on a Hump flight 11/17/1942.

Posted By: RLWillett on March 20, 2011, 8:36 pm | Post: 1
MIARecoveries, veteran searcher for lost WWII aircraft, is planning a search in China's Yunnan Prefecture in August. The object is to find the aircraft piloted by John J. Dean, former AVG who joined China National Aviation Corporation after the AVG disbanded. The C-47 was a CNAC aircraft that left Kunming for Dinjan, India on November 17, 1942 and disappeared. We are looking for people interested in being a part of the project - donating, researching or filming. A recently published Chinese book has given us new clues. For information check the website or email My cousin was John's co-pilot, hence my interest.

Posted By: RLWillett on September 18, 2011, 3:17 pm | Post: 2
FYI, MIA Recoveries left for Kunming on Wednesday September 14 to begin the search.

Posted By: RLWillett on December 31, 2011, 8:58 pm | Post: 3
CNAC # 60 was found southwest of Dali, China. Positively ID'd by the construction number found in the wreckage. No remains were visible since the main part of the airplane was buried by a 1950 earthquake/landslide, but bits of the plane were found at the site.

Posted By: LydiaRossi on January 27, 2012, 3:23 pm | Post: 4
Wow, sounds amazing that they were able to find any parts of the airplane at all. Quite a remarkable fete. Can't wait to see the photos.

Posted By: RLWillett on July 10, 2013, 9:07 am | Post: 5
John Dean was killed on Nov 17, 1942 while flying a C-47 from Kunming to Dinjan. He was with China National Aviation Corporation and had been since the AVG was disbanded. My cousin James S. Browne was co-pilot and was killed with him.

MIA Recoveries went on a search for the plane in Sept 2011 and it was found on the third attempt to get up Cang Shan mountain. No remains were found but JPAC is seeking permission to allow an expedition in 2014 to search for remains. He is one of the very few Flying Tigers still in China and we would like to bring him home with Cousin Jim.

So far the Chinese have not granted permission to have JPAC search although the plane was owned by a Chinese airline, flown by a mixed Chinese and American crew, crashed in China while China and the U.S. were allies.

Posted By: LydiaRossi on July 11, 2013, 5:13 pm | Post: 6
That would be so great if you would be allowed to go there and search.
Good luck and keep us updated.

Posted By: RLWillett on November 13, 2014, 2:33 pm | Post: 7
In recent communications between JPAC (Joint POW MIA Accounting Command), the Chinese Embassy and the PLA (peoples Liberation Army), all political and geographic approvals have been made to set a September 2015 date for the search of the wreckage of CNAC # 60 piloted by John J. Dean. While this is no guarantee, it is the most encouraqing news we have received on the subject.

Any contact by Forum member with JPAC encouraqing the search would certainly help. Are there groups still functioning who might lend support to the search?  I can supply details if it would help.

Bob Willett

Posted By: aaatripp on November 15, 2014, 6:28 pm | Post: 8
Thanks for this news, RL Willett.

If you will review our posting on the Public chain (not this General chain) you will see a thread "4 Tigers, etc.".  On posting #22 is the active status of the 30 lost Tigers.  John Dean is on this list and we have had recent discussions with JPAC.

The recovery of lost Tigers is indeed a priority at JPAC and we are developing further data to aid in the search/recovery.

Thanks again!

Tripp Alyn, chair
Historical & Museums Committee
Flying Tigers Association


Tripp Alyn, Historian
AVG Flying Tigers Association

Posted By: RLWillett on November 20, 2014, 3:09 pm | Post: 9
The remains of the Flying Tigers in Toungoo are of great interest but also of interest is the location of the body of Flight Leader John J. Dean on the side of Cangshan Mountain near Dali China.  John was killed Nov. 17, 1942, while flying with China National Aviation Corporation, along with co-pilot James S. Brown, who was my cousin.  Our research and the work of Clayton Kuhles of MIA Recoveries Inc. led us to discover this wreckage site.

If the Flying Tiger Association is in contact with JPAC in efforts to locate the Toungoo Flying Tigers, maybe they can also push for an expedition to the wreckage of Dean's C47 - CNAC flight #60.  Our recent communications and conversations with JPAC and DPMO have indicated a possible expedition in Sept. 2015.  Chinese officials have already done a preliminary search and authorized JPAC to excavate the site. 

Any help you all can give us would be deeply appreciated! 

Posted By: aaatripp on November 20, 2014, 4:37 pm | Post: 10
Thanks for your posting.  YES, we have already done that---providing help.  That is the sole purpose of the working chart in Post #22 in the thread "4 AVG etc.".
This is consistent with the presentation to the AVG Families Group at the 2013 AVG Flying Tigers Reunion in Huntsville, AL where it was confirmed that the search for missing AVG was being expanded from only the Toungoo group to ALL unaccounted for Tigers.

From the 30 AVG lost in the CBI, we currently have confirmed that 15 have been returned to their families and/or buried on American soil.  Because the JPAC resources are not unlimited we're trying to quickly narrow down the number of AVG who are still unaccounted for so that we can help JPAC by providing our historic data to help them focus their effort.  And, JPAC also has their own historic experts working on this as well.

Indeed JPAC is aware of the Dean/Brown crash site on the mountain.  We want also to find Bob Little, John Petach, Arnold Shamblin, Ed Leibolt, Armstrong, Hammer, Atkinson, Cole and others.  JPAC's priorities are determined by various factors----not the least would be agreements with sovereign governments to enter their country, explore, excavate, etc.  THEY ARE WORKING ON THIS.

May I suggest that you copy/paste your posting into a post under the thread
"4 AVG etc" since that "4 AVG etc." thread has evolved into a comprehensive search for all missing Tigers.  Your posting is very much a part of our desire to find, account for and to return all missing Tigers (and their co-pilots!).

Thanks again for bringing this to our Forum and we hope that this suggestion will provide you a means for tracking this project and adding your input to our postings.


Tripp Alyn, chair
Historical & Museums Committee
Flying Tigers Association


Tripp Alyn, Historian
AVG Flying Tigers Association

Posted By: RLWillett on November 22, 2014, 6:25 pm | Post: 11
Thank you for the swift reply - I will take your recommendation and post my original message in the related thread.

I also appreciate being alerted to the work that has been done by your people and the common interest we have in locating AVGs.  We are very impressed and happy to learn of the progress you all have made in the search for other lost Flying Tigers. 

We've been working with JPAC and DPMO for some time on our case, but have recently been encouraged by the Chinese embassy in Washington, who inform us they have invited JPAC to search for John and Jimmy's C47.    Also the PLA has investigated the area and reported it is suitable for expedition.  So we feel closer than ever, but still recognize that there are many determining factors. 

We will keep you abreast of any progress on our efforts, and look forward to hearing about your successes as well!

I will now repost this to the 4 AVG thread.

Many thanks,
Robert Willett

Posted By: RLWillett on December 27, 2014, 7:00 pm | Post: 12
In the JPAC/DPMO briefing held in Orlando last month we learned that JPAC has scheduled an expedition to Dali, China to excavate the crash site of CNAC # 60, piloted by John Dean.

Posted By: aaatripp on September 2, 2016, 12:11 pm | Post: 13
5 threads relating to John J. Dean, AVG have been consolidated to make it easier for our AVG Forum members to follow this story.

Thank you.


Tripp Alyn, Historian
AVG Flying Tigers Association

Posted By: aaatripp on September 2, 2016, 3:28 pm | Post: 14
We are very saddened to report that Roy E. Dean, younger brother of John
J. Dean, 1st Squadron Flight Leader, passed away on August 14th in
Sarasota, FL.

Roy attended our Reunion in Tampa, FL last May and all present
enjoyed meeting Roy and his wife, Jan....Roy's warm, friendly presence
will be missed.


Tripp Alyn, Historian
AVG Flying Tigers Association

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