John England was born on January 15, 1923, in Caruthersville, Missouri. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on April 1, 1942, and entered the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Army Air Forces on June 20, 1942. England was commissioned a 2d Lt and awarded his Pilot Wings at Yuma, Arizona, on March 10, 1943, and was then assigned to the 362nd Fighter Squadron of the 357th Fighter Group at Tonopah, Nevada, the same month, and then deployed with the unit to England in November 1943. Maj England flew with the 357th FG until February 1945, when he rotated back to the U.S., having destroyed 17.5 enemy aircraft in aerial combat plus 1 damaged, and 1 more on the ground while strafing an enemy airfield, during 108 combat missions. His next assignment was with the 339th Army Air Forces Base Unit (AAFBU) at Thomasville, Georgia, where he served from April to June 1945, and then with the 330th AAFBU at Dyersburg, Tennessee, from June to August 1945. Maj England next served with the 3rd Composite Squadron and then the 362nd Fighter Group at Lawson, Georgia, before returning to Europe to serve with the 70th Fighter Wing in Germany from July 1946 to May 1947. He then served with the 10th Reconnaissance Group and then as Commander of the 86th Composite Group in Germany from June 1947 to May 1948. England served as Operations Officer with the 3525th Pilot Training Group at Williams AFB, Arizona, from July 1947 to January 1949, and then as Commander of the 3598th Training Squadron at Nellis AFB, Nevada, from January 1949 to August 1951. Col England's next assignment was with the Directorate of Operations at Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the Pentagon from August 1951 to November 1953. During this time, he flew 6 combat missions during the Korean War and was credited with damaging 1 enemy aircraft in aerial combat during January and February 1952. He then transferred to Alexandria AFB, Louisiana, where he served as Commander of the 389th Fighter Bomber Squadron from November 1953 to until his death in a flying accident while on Temporary Duty to Toul-Rosiere AB, France, on November 17, 1954. He was survived by his wife, Marilyn, and their two children. Alexandria AFB, Louisiana, was renamed England AFB in his honor on May 1, 1955.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
For gallantry in action while participating in a fighter sweep over Germany, 27 November 1944. Sighting a formation of approximately fifty (50) hostile fighters, Captain England unhesitatingly led his Flight to the attack. By skillful maneuvering, he gained the initial advantage of surprise and was successful in destroying two (2) FW-190's. Having become separated from the rest of his Flight, he never-the-less exhibited utter disregard for personal danger by engaging alone another large force of enemy aircraft. Although only three (3) of his guns were now operational, he pressed home his attack with such forceful determination that he was able to shoot down two (2) more enemy planes before withdrawing. Captain England's gallantry and zealous desire to destroy then enemy at all costs served as an inspiration to all who participated in this action.