May 9, 2005--Lt. Col. John C. Spahr, 42, of Cherry Hill, N.J., died May 2 from injuries received when the F/A-18 Hornet aircraft he was piloting apparently crashed in Iraq, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Defense.
Lt. Col. Spahr was assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323, Marine Aircraft Group 11, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif. His unit was embarked aboard the U.S.S. Carl Vinson.
A native of Cherry Hill, N.J., Lt. Col. Spahr attended St. Joseph's Preparatory High School in Philadelphia. He earned his bachelor of science degree in physical education studies in 1987 and his masters of science degree in exercise physiology in 1988, both from the University of Delaware. In 1982 and 1983, he played on the UD football team.
Lt. Col. Spahr's personal military decorations include the Air Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, a few months before his death, he learned he was to be promoted from major to lieutenant colonel, and now the promotion will go through posthumously.
He is survived by his wife, Diane, daughter, Chandler, his mother, four sisters and a brother.
Visitation will be held from 9-11 a.m., Tuesday, May 17, at St. Thomas of Villanova Church on the campus of Villanova University. A funeral mass will be celebrated there at 10:30 a.m.
He wil be buried at 11 a.m., Wednesday, May 18, in Arlington National Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to St. Joseph's Preparatory School, 1733 West Girard Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19130.