Major General John O. Moench

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  • "Condolence to Mary and fanily at the loss of John. Remember..."
    - Dr Bill Dols
  • "Thank you for your service Major Moench. Rest in Peace."
    - Margo Peuquet
  • "I salute Sir for your many contributions you achieved for..."
    - Lt Col. W C Morrison
  • "Thank You so very much for your many years of service."
    - Ollie Gajewski
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Major General John O. Moench, age 91, an American patriot, passed away after a brave fight against Inclusion Body Myositis on April 3, 2013 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida where he lived after retiring from the United States Air Force and other endeavors in the civilian business world. Born on August 4, 1921 in Chicago, Illinois to Laura May and Ferdinand Carl Moench, Sr., John was a product of the Great Depression. He was raised on the south side of Chicago and then on a rural Indiana farm. He graduated from Valparaiso High School in 1939. As so many young men of the time, he was caught up in the throes of World War II, entered the Aviation Program from Indiana and was commissioned at Columbus, Mississippi in 1943. After serving briefly with the 479th Bombardment Squadron at Avon Park and MacDill Army Air Field, Florida and Lake Charles, Louisiana, in 1944 he was assigned to the 323rd Bomb Group, 9th Air Force. There he served as Flight Commander and Assistant Group Operations Officer, flying out of England and France. He accumulated 62 combat missions in the B-26 Marauder. At the end of World War II, he elected to remain in the service. Following a brief period of occupation duty, he returned to the U.S. as Chief of Depot Operations at Air Material Command, Wright Field, Ohio to direct the return of war material from the European Theater. Eventually he held post-war assignments in the field, in Air Force Headquarters, Air Force Europe in Wiesbaden, Germany and European Command in Frankfurt, Germany. While stationed in Germany, he met Mary Coppa, a civilian employee of the USAF. They were married on July 29, 1952, in Wiesbaden. They returned stateside with their newborn son Dale in 1953, where John attended the Air Command and Staff School at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. He then spent one year as Commander of the 6175th ABG at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea and later as director of Plans and Programs, 314th Air Division, Osan Air Base. He went on to serve another two decades in Joint Commands both in the Pacific and with the Joint Staff in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He was a graduate of the Air War College and earned Bachelor's and Master's Degrees from the University of Maryland. During his career he served a total of four tours of duty in the Pentagon. His final assignment was as Director, Plans, Policy and Program Formulation in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Completing over 30 years of service to his country, he entered the civilian business community as an executive with a Fortune 500 company in New York. Later he established his own wholesale and retail import company in Central Florida. In the final decades of his life, General Moench was a prolific author and avid historian who produced numerous published works on military history, most notably on the history of the Martin B-26 Marauder and the pilots that flew her. General Moench was a command pilot. He was a member of numerous military organizations and archives. His military decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 11 Oak Leaf Clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and the Distinguished Service Unit Citation Emblem. He is survived by his devoted wife of over 60 years, Mary Coppa Moench, formerly of Alexandria, Virginia; their daughter, Michele Moench Kirby and her husband Rex Broughton Kirby, Jr.; their son, Jon Jeffery Moench. He is also survived by four grandchildren: Rachel Kirby, Christina Kirby, Rex Kirby III, and Madeleine Moench. He was predeceased by his infant son, Dale Webster Moench who is buried with him at Arlington National Cemetery. Funeral services for General Moench will be held September 20, 2013 at 11:00 AM at the Fort Myer Memorial Chapel. Interment, with full military honors, will follow at Arlington National Cemetery with a reception to follow at Fort Myer Officer's Club. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project ( 877-768-6807.

Published in The Times on Sept. 8, 2013
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