Pennsylvania’s last World War II ‘double ace’ dies

Congressman Lou Barletta presents a Congressional Recognition Certificate to U.S. Army Captain (retired) John Barry Lawler of Mechanicsburg on April 1, 2015. (WHTM)

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania’s last World War II “double ace” fighter pilot has died.

John Barry Lawler, of Mechanicsburg, died Friday morning, according to his family. He was 95.

As a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps, Lawler flew 120 combat missions in the European Theater. He had 11 confirmed victories in air combat, which certified him as a double ace.

He received the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Commendation Medal, Unit Citation, and European Theater Medal.

Lawler, an Army Captain before his retirement from the military, was presented a Congressional Recognition Certificate last year from Congressman Lou Barletta.

“I was very lucky and successful,” he said at the presentation. “I know I shot down 11 enemy planes, which is something, and I’m just glad it’s in my history that I did what I did.”

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