Back to 'W' Award Winners
John C. Wiren
Class of 1948 - Inducted 2007 & 2008
John was inducted into the SHSAA Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Packer Sports Greats in 2007.
John Wiren was a star in all sports while in high school and college. He completed his education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (then Omaha University) and Huron College while playing football, baseball and basketball, as well participating in wrestling and track at UNO and winning the Golden Gloves Heavy Weight Boxing Title. He also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Foreign Trade from the American Institute of Foreign Trade. Wiren played two years of professional baseball before entering the Navy as an aviation cadet.
Upon graduation he was commissioned in the United States Marine Corps attaining the rank of Captain. After active service in the USMC, he joined the reserves. He was the initial coach (with Darrell Mudra) of the National Champion Phillips Department Store Midget Football team, and later was Mudra's Assistant Coach at Adams State Teacher's College in Alamosa, CO.
Later John served in the Secret Service in Dallas, Texas prior to his involvement with Air America in Southeast Asia. The Air America service included hazardous deep penetration flights over mainland China, re-supplying the besieged French Garrison at Dien Bien Phu in North Vietnam, and insurgent drops into Tibet, as well as rescuing numerous downed American military airmen during the Vietnam Conflict. Wiren received a commemorative medal for his Vietnam War Service.
Following his service with Air America, he flew for Inter-Mountain Air on Alaska's North Slope, Joint Church Aid Biafra, Royal Air Lao, Global Associates on Kwajalein Island, Aero Union (aerial fire fighters), Dominicana Airlines, Air Yemen, and Singapore Airlines. He also was the personal pilot of Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafic Hariri, and later for Saudi Prince Walid bin Talal. He also was Director of Operations for Air Niagra, Captain with Eastern Airline, and chief pilot for Saudi Intelligence. He ended his aviation career with the Federal Aviation Administration, first as an aviation safety inspector and then as an instructor at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City. He later authored the book "Flight of the Erawan" about the "secret war" of the 60's in Laos, as well as authoring many articles.
He currently serves as Chair of the Airport Authority and as President of Air America Association.