Yale '62 - Obituaries - John A. Wilson

John A. Wilson

Born: August 22, 1937
Died: August 21, 1967

John was born in Los Angles, California and prepared for Yale at Carlisle High School, in Pennsylvania. He entered Yale in September 1954 with the Class of 1958. He attended until June 1956 and then enlisted in the Marine Corps becoming a commissioned officer and a jet pilot. He was released from active duty in 1960 as a First Lieutenant and joined our class, graduating in June of 1962. He was a non-resident member of Saybrook College and an English major.

John then attended Yale Law School and graduated in 1965 with his LL.B. He clerked for a year for United States District Judge Jacob Leyton in the Federal Court in Wilmington, Delaware and then joined a Wilmington law firm.

John maintained his participation in the Marine Corps Reserve. He perished on August 21, 1967, when his F8 Crusader jet lost a wing due to a maintenance failure and crashed off the Coast of Puerto Rico following a bombing run over Vieques Island. He was a Major at the time of his death and was buried with full military honors in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

John was married in 1959 to the former Nancy Jane Olsen, a graduate of Miami University (Ohio) and together they had three daughters: Leslie Karen born in 1960, Catherine Lee born in 1961 and Julie born in 1966.

Two classmates, Bob Zuckert and Dudley Taft, served in the same unit with John and were present in Puerto Rico when the tragic accident occurred. Bob and Dudley supplied information about John for this obituary. They both recall fondly his friendship and the excitement and pride he had about his family and his new law practice.

John's name is appropriately inscribed in Woolsey Hall with the names of other Yale men who died in service during the Vietnam Era.