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Lieutenant Colonel John N. Karamanian


Lieutenant Colonel John N. Karamanian

John N. Karamanian, born on October 9, 1929 in Carrollville, Wisconsin to Nerses and Helen Karamanian, passed away in San Antonio, Texas on November 6, 2016.

An Air Force officer, he flew the B-29 in the Korean War and the Caribou, a transport plane, in the Vietnam War [536th 1966]. He received the Command Pilot Wings and was awarded the Air Medal. He graduated with a B.S. degree in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Washington.

On May 21, 1955, he married Vivian Roberta Melvin. Roberta predeceased John on February 10, 2014.

After retiring from the Air Force in 1969 as Lieutenant Colonel, John joined Air Wisconsin, eventually becoming Director of Flight Operations. In 1977, he became Director of Product Support for Swearingen Aviation in San Antonio. He later worked for various aviation companies.

John was a member of the Regional Aircraft Association (RAA) and served on the RAA board from 1994-1996. In 2014, the RAA gave him its life-time achievement award. He had also been a member of the American Meteorological Society. His aviation career after Air Force retirement spanned nearly five decades.

John and Roberta were devoted members of Alamo Heights Presbyterian Church. John regularly taught Sunday school there. The spiritual lessons from Church guided him in his daily life.

He is survived by his children: Linda Maldonado and husband Harold of San Antonio, TX; Susan Karamanian of Arlington, VA; Mary Loep of Houston, TX; Gregory Karamanian and wife Deanne of San Antonio, TX; seven grandchildren and one great granddaughter.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, November 12, 2016, at Alamo Heights Presbyterian Church, 6201 Broadway, San Antonio, Texas, 78209.

A graveside service with Full Military Honors will be held at 2:30 pm on Monday, November 14, 2016, at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Alamo Heights Presbyterian Church at the address above.

Pat Hanavan sent the following movie review:

"Air Cadet is a 1951 American drama film directed by Joseph Pevney and starring Stephen McNally, Gail Russell and Richard Long. Air Cadet featured United States Air Force (USAF) pilots in training along with actors mixed into the training courses. The film had a small early role for 26-year-old Rock Hudson and a scene with future astronaut Gus Grissom. John Karamanian appeared as one of the cadets at Randolph AFB.
Production of Air Cadet began at Randolph Air Force Base near San Antonio, Texas on October 4, 1950. The scenes at Randolph were filmed in five days and the cast and crew transferred to Williams Air Force Base near Mesa, Arizona where the majority of the film was shot, with filming wrapped mid-December 1950. Some sequences were shot at Tyndall AFB in Panama City, Florida. Before he became widely known as an astronaut, Gus Grissom was an extra who was briefly seen early in the film as a USAF candidate for the Randolph flight school.
The aerial sequences which were the highlight of Air Cadet were shot by cinematographer de Vinna who shot from a B-25 bomber, converted into a camera platform. He had to lie on his stomach using a film camera bracketed onto the tail assembly of the B-25. Choosing high-contrast sky backgrounds meant when the sky was clear or blue, photography was not possible. Much of the flying was done under conditions where G-forces made everything, including the 60-pound camera and the photographers' own bodies, feel seven times heavier.
When this film was shot, some of the T-33s had under-slung tip tanks (not the in-line tip tanks of later models, e.g., ’56-’58) and others did not. There are also some P-80’s in the shots."


13 Nov 2016 05:22 PM

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