Cover photo for John Patrick Lane's Obituary
John Patrick Lane Profile Photo
1932 John 2015

John Patrick Lane

May 10, 1932 — October 18, 2015

John Patrick Lane, was born May 10, 1932 in Santa Monica, CA. He studied aeronautical engineering at Los Angeles Valley College before entering the Navy's flight training program in Pensacola, FL in 1952. Upon completion of Flight School in Pensacola and receiving his wings, John was commissioned a 2nd LT in the U.S. Marine Corp in 1954. John was assigned to VMF334 at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina. After a year in the squadron, John was transferred to Pensacola, Florida to Naval Air Basic Training Command as an instructor in the SNJ. 1958 brought yet another move, this time to Camp Lejune, North Carolina where he was assigned to 2nd ANGLICO. During the Lebanon Crisis that year, John was with the sixth fleet in the Mediterranean. His next assignment was MCAS El Toro, California. He was then assigned to a helicopter squadron at the Tustin, California Air Facility as an Instructor in Pre Flight. John reported to Patuxent River, Maryland in 1961, after being selected for the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School. He graduated from Test Pilot School as a member of Class 31 and was then assigned to Service Test where he tested navy fixed wing aircraft and helicopters. Proudly, he was the first Marine Reserve pilot to attend TPS. While deployed to Vietnam, he was attached to MAG 11 at Da Nang, flying combat missions in the F4B Phantom. John was awarded 5 air medals during his assignment in Vietnam. In 1966 John left the USMC to begin a new career with McDonnell Douglas as an Experimental Test Pilot. He flew the A4 series aircraft, the DC9, MD-80, DC-10 and YC-15. The YC-15 basic's design would be used to form the successful C-17 Globemaster III, the U.S. Air Force's primary strategic airlift aircraft. John was made a Fellow in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots in 1983, was later appointed Chief Test Pilot, and retired in 1993.

John was married to the love of his life, Barbara Jo, who he met in Junior High. He was the dad and grandpa that could make or fix anything. During these years the Lane household was always the center of some type of activity, including remodeling the house, building and re-upholstering furniture, creating outdoor play equipment, as well as awesome bunk beds for his grandchildren, just to name a few. John was a great host and loved entertaining visiting friends and family, as well as his keeping in touch with his treasured classmates from test pilot school. He also enjoyed playing golf, and taking business classes at the University of Southern California. John and Barbara lived their retirement years in Lincoln Hills, CA.

John is preceded in death by his mother, Helene Florence Griffith and father, John Patrick Lane Sr. He is survived by his wife, Barbara Jo, two daughters and two sons: Kimberly Lane Jones (Montana) husband Tim and their three children, Nicole Jones Vannatta and husband Jordan, Todd, and Lane Elizabeth; Dana Lane Davey (Washington) husband Jim and their seven children, Danielle, Jasmine, Spencer, Walter IV, Ali, Claire and Margie; Brian Lane (Georgia) wife Lisa and their six children, Michael, John, Robert, Anthony, Maria and Philip; John Lane (California), and one great grandson, Walter V.

Sadly, cancer took John from us on Sunday, October 18, 2015. Friday October 23, 2015 at 10 a.m. A graveside military internment will be held at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, 5810 Midway Road, Dixon, CA,

An informal reception will follow the graveside service at John and Barbara's home: 1933 Carnelian Court, Lincoln, CA 9564.

An eternal tribute can be found at

Our legendary test pilot lived 83 years.
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Interment with Military Honors

Friday, October 23, 2015

Starts at 10:00 am

Sacramento Valley National Cemetery

5810 Midway Rd, Dixon, CA 95620

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