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John Edward Loehrke

Graduating Class of 1940
Served in World War II
Attached photograph of Second Lieutenant Loehrke

Second Lieutenant
John Edward Loehrke



Mayville, WI

Date of Birth

Location of Death

Macon, GA

Date of Death

Location of Burial

Graceland Cemetery, Mayville, WI

More About Second Lieutenant Loehrke

During his time at the university, Second Lieutenant Loehrke played Varsity football his freshman, sophomore and junior years, and earned a W each of those years. He served on the House Presidents' Council, the Interfraternity Board and the Dormitory Council. He was also a member of the American Society of Automotive Engineers and Theta Xi.

2d Lt. Loehrke enlisted 17 May 1940. He completed his pilot training at Randolph Field and Kelly Field in Texas, and was commissioned as a lieutenant on December 20, 1940. On May 5, 1941, he began work as an instructor at Cochran Field near Macon, GA. At the beginning of December 1941, Loehrke became squadron commander at Cochran Field, with 14 officer instructors and 50 cadets, mostly from the British Royal Air Force, under his command. His role was primarily administrative but still allowed him the opportunity to fly - something he loved to do.

On December 26, 1941, Second Lieutenant Loehrke was substituting for another instructor on a training flight with Royal Air Force cadet John K. Briers. Briers was from Derby, England and had 60 hours of flying in the primary course plus seven hours of instruction at Cochran. Loehrke had logged 900 hours of flying time. They were practicing forced landings in a Vultee BT-13 Valiant when the engine gave out and the airplane crashed into a small field 13 miles from the airfield and burst into flames. Loehrke and John Briers were both killed.