Lt. Col. John "Jack" Bolt - USMC ACE
Colonel Bolt, flying a Corsair fighter, shot down six Japanese Zero fighters in the Solomon Islands campaign during the Black Sheep Squadron's three months of aerial combat, from late 1943 to early 1944. Piloting an F-86 Sabre jet, he downed six Soviet-built MIG's in 1953 while attached to an Air Force squadron in the Korean War.
Colonel Bolt was one of seven American pilots to have downed at least five enemy planes, the standard for an ace, in both World War II and the Korean War.
John Franklin Bolt was born in Laurens, S.C., grew up in Sanford, Fla., and entered military service in 1941 after attending the University of Florida for two years. In 1943, he joined a newly reorganized Marine Fighting Squadron 214, which became known as the Black Sheep Squadron because its members were outsiders of sorts, recently arrived or already in the South Pacific but without membership in a unit.
"We were a bunch of replacements that nobody else wanted," Colonel Bolt told The Times-Picayune of New Orleans at the squadron's 50th anniversary reunion.
But the unit, commanded by Maj. Gregory Boyington, known as Pappy, a leading air ace when he was shot down and captured in January 1944 and a Medal of Honor winner, gained renown supporting the Marines in their battles up the Solomons chain. Its pilots had more than 90 confirmed downings of Japanese planes.
After achieving his six "kills" flying out of bases in the Solomons, Colonel Bolt flew from the aircraft carrier Block Island in 1945. In the Korean War, he downed six enemy planes while attached to the Air Force's 39th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. He gained his final "kills" on July 11, 1953, when he shot down two MIG-15's on a mission near the Manchurian border although low on fuel.
Colonel Bolt retired from the Marines in 1962. He was awarded the Navy Cross and three Distinguished Flying Crosses.
He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland while in the military, then graduated from the University of Florida Law School in 1970. He was an associate dean there and practiced law for two decades in New Smyrna Beach.