Photo depicts ADCMAP John Pershing Greathouse (right) reenlisting for three more years in 1974.
~ In Memoriam for ADCMAP John P. Greathouse, the last Coast Guard enlisted pilot ~
ADCMAP John P. Greathouse, 86 and a retired Coast Guard pilot, died on August 30, 2005, at Biloxi, Mississippi from complications from Alzheimer's disease. Mr. Greathouse was born in Wills Point, Texas and lived in Biloxi for 26 years. He was a Coast Guard World War II veteran and attended Texas A&M University.
A man of very humble beginnings, he accomplished many records for the U. S. Coast Guard. He entered Coast Guard recruit training in October 1941 and served at the Fort Point Lifeboat Station, CA, as a Seaman 1st Class. A year later he entered flight training and graduated as an Aviation Pilot from the Naval Aviation Training Center, Pensacola, FL, in August 1943.
On September 25, 1945, while on temporary duty at Coast Guard Air Station Brooklyn, he and AD3 John Smith bailed out of their HOS-1G helicopter over Philadelphia after control of the helicopter was lost due to heavy winds. This was the first ever bailout from a helicopter.
He passed his own flight-time record of 12,000 hours in 1973 and had the most flight hours on record at the time of his retirement in 1979. He was the last enlisted Coast Guard pilot.
Mr. Greathouse is honored at the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola, and alongside the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk, N.C. The Coast Guard Aviation Training Center in Mobile, AL dedicated its main boulevard after him.
Mr. Greathouse was preceded in death by his brothers, Hubbard and Reginald Greathouse. Survivors include his beloved wife of 58 years, Doris R. Greathouse, and four loving children and a grandson, Terre Matranga, John Greathouse Jr., Gina F. Greathouse, James F. Greathouse and Matthew Greathouse.
Family services were held at Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home on Pass Road, Biloxi with Church of Christ Minister Roger Mills on September 23, 2005. He was laid to rest at Biloxi National Cemetery.
He is greatly loved by his family and will be sadly missed.
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