Air Force Badge
  • Name: John Kenneth Lerohl
  • Location of Birth: Bovey, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: July 24, 1923
  • Date of Death: October 31, 2014
  • Parents: John Lerohl & Anna (Lalim) Lerohl
  • High School and Class: 1940 Greenway High School, Coleraine, Minnesota
  • College: 1942 Itasca Junior College, Coleraine, Minnesota
    Ohio State University
  • Highest Rank: COL (Colonel)
  • Branch: Air Force
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In: December 11, 1942
  • Place Sworn In:
  • Date of Discharge:
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Military Awards:
    Legion of Merit

  • Military Highlights:
    WW II Draft Registration Cards – 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947
    State: Minnesota
    Name: John Kenneth Lerohl
    Race: White
    Age: 18
    Birth Date: July 24, 1923
    Birth Place: Bovey, Itasca, Minnesota, USA
    Residence Place: Bovey, Itasca, Minnesota, USA
    Registration Date: June 30, 1942
    Employer: Lerch Brothers, Bovey, Minnesota
    Weight: 170
    Height: 5-11
    Complexion: Light
    Eye Color: Blue
    Hair Color: Brown
    Next of Kin: John Lerohl, Bovey, Minnesota

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota – April 2, 1943 – “AT WASHINGTON U – Private John Kenneth Lerohl, 19, of Bovey, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. K. Lerohl, has arrived at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, for a course of Army Air Force instruction lasting approximately five months, prior to his appointment as an Aviation Cadet in the Army Air Forces. During this period he will take numerous academic courses, as well as elementary flying training. Upon completion of the course, he will be classified as a Pilot, Navigator or Bombardier, and go on to schools of the flying training command for training in these specialties.”

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota – July 23, 1943 – “San Antonio, Texas, June 24. Dear Horace: I have just finished one of the better Army meals, a super steak dinner. In addition, I just received the Bovey Press. Ordinarily receiving either of these is reason enough for celebration. But getting both the steak and the Press the same day should provoke something unusual. And unusual it is for I’m doing an almost unheard of act down here – Because it is an unwritten rule for all potential cadets to crawl into the bunks, writing a letter in the middle of the day, immediately after chow, stretch out, listen to the strains of “Let’s Get Lost”, and figure out a way to get out of K.P. for the week. But under the circumstances I decided it’s about time I fell in with the rest of the boys and let the “Home Front” know that their barrages of letters are hitting their targets with tremendous success. Much has been written commending the soul gratifying morale building work of the Service Men’s Club and of its associates and I agree heartily with every bit of it. Perhaps the frequent messages, anecdotes, and gifts from the Service Club almost make the letters from a soldier’s best girl take second place. At the present I’m enjoying a form of breathing spell in the tough grind toward becoming a member of the Air Crew of the Army Air Forces. I’m awaiting shipment to some Navigator’s school and in the meantime am absorbing sunshine and trying to toughen up to the standards of Bovey’s Marines. Sorry I can’t relate any progress in rank as all the boys seem to be accomplishing since there just aren’t any inter-mediate steps toward the goal I’m shooting at. But during the two months I just spent at a college training detachment I accomplished a number of things of a varied nature, namely, refought the Civil War with the numerous “rebels” down here, convinced a hundred cadets that Bovey Farmer’s Day is the biggest one day celebration in Minnesota, ridiculed all the football teams in the nation by comparing them with Minnesota’s, and learned that a Piper Cub, better known as Maytag Interceptors, can be flown in a backward direction by heading into a strong wind. Thanks again to the Bovey Press, the Service Club, and to Mr. Connor, Mr. Clem, and Elaine Chucker for letters and cards received and enjoyed. Greetings to everyone from Texas, the state where one can get a suntan at eight o’clock in the morning."

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    John Lerohl was a WW II enlistee when he was selected to attend West Point. He later earned a PhD in physics from Ohio State and spent his first career as a nuclear physicist for the Air Force and Defense Department. He retired from the military as a Colonel, earned his JD and had a second career as a lawyer specializing in nuclear regulation.John died in Alexandria, Virginia and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia (Section 59, Site 2209). He is survived by his son, Jack Lerohl; his daughters, Karen Wilson and Randi Lerohl Manning; five grandchildren; and his companion of many years, Marvel Luyks. He was preceded in death by his wife of 42 years, Ann Lawrence Lerohl, in 1989, as well as his daughters, Jane Rasmussen and Kathryn Keany.

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):