LTC (Ret) John C. Cannon, one of our country’s first African American Paratroopers, has made his final jump.  Born June 26, 1923, he departed this world on March 18, 2014 in Madison, MS where he resided with his wife, retired Superior Court Judge Norma Cannon.  He was born in Happy Jack, Louisiana to Walter and Geneva Cannon as the 10 th  of 10 children.  He often said, “My parents were seeking perfection and kept on until they got it.”  In 1942 he enlisted in the Army Air Corps to become a member of the Tuskegee Airman.  Upon arriving at Tuskegee, John was in competition for a limited number of pilot training slots with a large number of other enlistees who were college graduates.  He was reassigned from the pilot training unit and received his basic training as a private.  He was later assigned to administrative positions and attended a number of Army schools and in 1945 was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Medical Administrative Corps.  In 1945, John changed his commissioned branch from Medical Administrative Corps to Infantry and joined the 555 Parachute Infantry Battalion (The Triple Nickles), an all black paratrooper unit.  During the Korean War, he returned to the Medical Administrative Corps and was reassigned to the 187 th  Airborne Regimental Combat Team in Korea where he was a Combat Medic. In 1962, John, his wife Dorothy and son Carl moved to Seattle in anticipation of his military retirement.  That retirement was delayed for a few years due to his promotion to lieutenant colonel.  It was in 1966 that Colonel Cannon finally retired from the Army and became a true Seattleite.  He immediately submerged himself into the community, striving for improvements within the Central Area. He worked in Seattle's Division of Urban Renewal until his appointment, in 1970, as the first administrator of Odessa Brown Children's Clinic. Thereafter he became Executive Director of the Ecumenical Metropolitan Ministry and, from 1980 to 1988, the Executive Director of the Central Area Senior Center. He served on boards of directors of many organizations, including a stint as the President of the Seattle Public Library Board. The Cannon House, an assisted living facility in Seattle on Twenty-Third Avenue South near Yesler Street is named to honor his many contributions to Seattle.  Dorothy Cannon, John’s first wife of more than 50 years predeceased him.  She too, was active in the Seattle community.  He later remarried to now, retired Superior Court Judge Norma Cannon.  This union created a blended family of five children and two grandchildren who John and Norma relocated to Madison, Mississippi to be near.  John leaves a son and daughter in law, LTC (ret) Carl and Dr Mary Cannon, MD, a sister, Vera Bullen, who will be 105 years old in April, an older brother, Oneil Cannon, who is 97 and a host of nieces and nephews, god children and others that he claims as his extended family. Memorial Service will be conducted on April 7, 2014 at 11am at Bethany United Church of Christ, 6230 Beacon Ave S. Seattle, WA.  In lieu of flowers the family has requested that donations be made to Bethany UCC for Food Bank In Honor of John Cannon.
© Official Site  Of 555th Parachute Infantry “Triple Nickle”. 2008
555th Parachute Infantry  555th Parachute Infantry  555th Parachute Infantry 1944 - 1947 1944 - 1947 1944 - 1947 TripleNickle.com TripleNickle.com TripleNickle.com LTC (Ret) John C. Cannon  LTC (Ret) John C. Cannon  LTC (Ret) John C. Cannon