November 14, 1924 - February 25, 2019
Major General John Wharton Collens was born in Monroe, La., on Nov. 14, 1924 and died peacefully in his home in Cameron Park, Calif. on Feb. 25, 2019. John was predeceased by his wife, of 66 years, Barbara Wesbrook Collens and his son Paul Wesbrook Collens. John is survived by his daughter Janet Collens Durant (Randy Poole); his granddaughters Melanie and Melissa Durant; and his great-grandson Brandon Durant; niece and nephew Mardi and Chuck Morris; and daughter-in-law Fran Collens. John began a career in the military in 1943 during World War II as an aviation cadet. He received his commission and pilot wings in 1944. After flying 28 B-17 combat missions with the 96th Bombardment Squadron, John entered the Air Weather Service. During the Korean War he flew 75 tactical weather reconnaissance missions in a weather-modified B-26 aircraft. John joined the 58th Military Airlift Squadron at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., in 1966 where he flew C-141’s operating into Vietnam. He was commander of the Air Weather Service and eventually became chief of staff for Military Airlift Command. General Collens was a command pilot with more than 5,600 flying hours which includes more than 1,200 hours in single jet engine aircraft. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters and Air Force Commendation Medal. He was a member of the Air Force Association, American Meteorological Society, National Defense transportation Association, Order of Daedalians and a very active member of the Elks Lodge. At the time of his death, he was a proud resident of Ponte Palmero retirement community where he enjoyed the friendship of so many caregivers, administrators and staff who pampered and adored him. Special thanks to all who cared for him so patiently and sweetly, including Randy, Sandra, Eileen, Shira, Karen, Rodger Amber and Betsy. Services will be private. A memorial service at the Elks Lodge to be announced at a later date.
Major General John Wharton Collens was born in Monroe, La., on Nov. 14, 1924 and died peacefully in his home in Cameron Park, Calif. on Feb. 25, 2019. John was predeceased by his wife, of 66 years, Barbara Wesbrook Collens and his son Paul Wesbrook... View Obituary & Service Information
Obituary & Service
Major General John Wharton Collens was born in Monroe, La., on...View More
Customized sympathy cards. Mailed for you.Send a Card
Photos & Videos
Share and view memories of John...View Photos & Videos