John Wayne Powell
John was born December 20, 1916, in Francis, OK. He attended Francis High school where he was a member of the state finalist debate team and graduated with high scholastic honors. John has the distinction of being the first Eagle scout in Francis, OK. In addition to school and scouting, he worked at the family owned grocery store. For college he headed twenty miles southeast to Ada, OK where he graduated from East Central State College. In 1939, he followed in his father's footsteps and opened Powell's Master Grocery and Market in Ada, OK with his brother William.
The first peacetime draft lottery was held on October 29, 1940 and the first number was drawn by Secretary of War Stinson and read by President Roosevelt. The number was 158 and John was the lucky 'winner.' For reasons unknown, he wasn't drafted and eventually enlisted in the Air Corps on March 20, 1942. Basic training was at Goodfellows in San Angelo, TX and he earned his wings with class 43-A at Brooks Field in San Antonio, TX. Other members of this class were Oscar Nislar, Don Penning, and Bert Petersen. They joined the 118th on April 26, 1943. John completed his 100 mission in the CBI theater and returned stateside in November 1944. He also served during the Korean War.
John moved to Oklahoma City in 1951 and was the owner and pharmacist of Powell Rexall Drug until his death in 1972 at the age of 55. He was a 32nd Degree Mason and served as the master of the Francis Masonic Lodge.