Jo Milton French was born on April 7, 1903, in Syracuse, New York to Clarence and Nellie Watson French. He had one sister, Ruth. Jo married Flewellyn Plant McCaw in Lake George, New York, on September 11, 1932, when he was 29 years old. The couple would have two children. In Rye the family lived at 265 Locust Avenue and were members of Christ Church. Jo served as an officer in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.
Jo M. French Now Lieutenant-Colonel
A NINTH AIR FORCE THUNDERBOLT BASE, France
Standing outside a wooden shack that serves as hi-s office with ''The Maulers,'' crack P-47 Thunderbolt fighter-bomber group of the 19th Tactical Air Command, is Lieutenant Colonel Jo M. French, whose wife, Flewellyn, and two sons, Jo and Tony, were former residents of 265 Locust Avenue, Rye, New York. Colonel French was recently promoted from the rank of Major after assuming the duties of Group Executive Officer last September. Overseas since November, 1943, he has served with this group at bases in England and France. Recalling his arrival in France by air transport, July 10, while battles raged in Normandy, Col. French said, ''We were flying in emergency food rations to our advance party at a forward airstrip under enemy shell fire near Caen.
By mistake we circled over the German lines in landing, but luckily enemy snipers didn't knock us down.'' In addition to serving as president of a General Courts Martial board, Col. French solves countless problems arising in this combat group. During two hectic days, January 22-23, this Thunderbolt group sighted and attacked the mass German withdrawal in the Ardennes salient, destroying and damaging over 800 vehicles. Prior to entering the Army Air Forces, April 10, 1942, Col. French and his family resided in Rye, at which time he was associated with Alex Brown and Sons, Investment Bankers, Wall St., New York. At present, his wife,'Flewellyn, and two sons, Jo and Tony, reside with her mother, Mrs. Wallace E. McCaw, 107 Buford Place, Macon, Georgia.
THE RYE CHRONICLE
Friday, March 2, 1945
Lt. Col. Jo M. French Gets Bronze Star
A NINTH AIR FORCE THUNDER- BOLT BASE, France
Lieutenant Colonel Jo M, French, formerly of Rye, N. Y. , has been decorated with the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service as Executive Officer of the crack 362nd Fighter Group during the height of the German offensive in Belgium at which time this P-47 Thunderbolt group, The Maulers, suffered loss of two pilot commanding officers. The award order states that Col. French was instrumental in maintaining esprit de corps and continuous efficient operations, administratively and tactically, of the group during the peak of Ninth Air Force fighter-bomber attacks that helped repel the German offensive. Especially cited was the manner in which Col. French shouldered additional burdens, supervision of proper maintenance of runways and other tasks beyond the normal scope of his duties. The order states, his devotion to duty reflects credit upon himself and is in keeping with the highest traditions of the Armed Forces of the United States.
PAGE TEN THE RYE CHRONICLE Friday, April 20, 1945
Jo Milton French died on May 30, 1964, in La Jolla, California, at the age of 61.