John Haden was born 7 Feb 1921 in Ladonia, Fannin County, Texas - the youngest of three brothers. His oldest brother William, born 7 Apr 1910, was my father-in-law. I have articles from The Ladonia News - John graduated from Ladonia High School in the Class of 1938. The "socials" column notes that he was studying at the University of Texas in Austin in 1929 and 1940.
John married as Lt. John Haden of the Marine Air Corps in December of 1942, in Houston, Texas, and it was noted in the local newspaper that the couple would be living in Corpus Christi, where the groom received his commission and was stationed temporarily.
On the same day of his wedding announcement there was a second article in The Ladonia News:
Friday Dec 11, 1942.
John Haden Wins Coveted Medal
John Haden, son of Mr. & Mrs. R. C. Haden, Ladonia, recently was awarded the coveted "Navy Wings of Gold" and commissioned 2nd Lieut. in the U.S. Marine Corps at the Naval Air Training Center, Corpus Christi.
Lieut. Haden received his wings with the designation of a Naval Aviator from Rear Admiral E. A. Montgomery, USN, Commandant of the training center, at an impressive class graduation ceremony.
Haden volunteered for flight training in March, 1942, and received preliminary instructions at the US Naval Aviation Base, Dallas. Upon successful completion of this training he was transferred to Corpus Christi for intermediate and advanced training at the "University of the Air" the world's largest naval aviation training center.
John was the humblest of heros. I was part of the family for years before I even knew he had served in two wars. He was a delightful and gracious gentleman - it was my good fortune to have known him. John Haden passed away on 12 October 2010; he had lived with his beloved wife Merle in Bedford for many years. John and Merle had celebrated 68 years of marriage. As of the posting of the Blog, his wonderful obituary is still available online and has a small picture of John in his uniform. I have seen the picture at his home, but have no copy. You can see it here.