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Cdr. John DeChant  
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In his memory:

Commander John DeChant
VFP-62 circa 1960-63

Updated: March 8, 2018

[Webmaster's Note: This page is under construction and will be updated as tributes from family, friends, and former Navy members are received. Contact Webmaster on the link below.]

    Memories and Tributes

  • (3/7/18) John A. DeChant, Retired U. S. Navy Commander, went to be with the Lord on Monday, March 5, 2018. Born May 13, 1932 in Philadelphia, PA to John and Marion DeChant. He graduated from Franklin & Marshall in 1955, joined the Navy in 1955 and married Frances Downey in 1957. He retired in 1975 after a very accomplished Naval career with numerous accommodations. John loved flying jets and training fighter pilots, but his greatest love was knowing and serving the Lord.

    He is survived by his wife, Frances DeChant; children, Michele D. Roberts (Bill), Jody DeChant and Danielle DeChant; brother, Robert DeChant; and sister Jane Lewis. Predeceased by his children, Therese DeChant and Jeffrey Kirk.

  • (3/7/18)John flew VFP-62's RF-8A photo Crusaders and by all accounts, he was an excellent pilot. I first met him at our 2008 VFP-62 reunion at Battleship Memorial Park, Mobile AL. We were also dedicating one of our restored aircraft. At one of the hospitality rooms, John kept us all entertained with his stories of flying.

    Later when I was co-authoring our book on the Cuban Missile Crisis ("Blue Moon Over Cuba: Aerial Reconnaissance during the Cuban Missile Crisis") I learned that John had a major responsibility that was crucial to our success. During the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, he was not on flying status but served as the squadron Maintenance Officer at NAS Cecil Field. He and the dedicated crew there helped assure 100% aircraft availability for the photo missions over Cuba. His memory of that is on our Cuban Missile Crisis Page. With the enthusiasm typical of our squadron, he wrote, "...the Cuban Missile Crisis was no crisis for VFP-62, because we could do anything asked of us...It was truly an exciting time.

    Ken Jack, PH2 & webmaster

  • (March 8,2018) Sad to hear of John's passing. A good guy. RIP John.

    I know that John welcomed me to the squadron when I arrived in November 1960. I believe that he had a Med Cruise to his credit already, possibly Det.33 on Intrepid? Anyone recall?

    Capt. Adam Miklovis

Celebrating VFP-62's Navy Unit Commendation at Boca Chica, Key West
After President John F. Kennedy's Presentation--November 26, 1962
John DeChant second from left (back)

Searching for VFP-62 Time Capsule at former NAS Cecil Field
(L-R) Greg Engler (project lead), John DeChant, Jimmy Koenig

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