January 31, 2012 - Issue: Vol. 158, No. 15 — Daily Edition112th Congress (2011 - 2012) - 2nd Session
AMERICAN HERO, JOHN ``JACK'' FRANCIS HANNIGAN; Congressional Record Vol. 158, No. 15
(House of Representatives - January 31, 2012)
Text available as:
Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.
[Page H190] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] AMERICAN HERO, JOHN ``JACK'' FRANCIS HANNIGAN The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Flores) for 5 minutes. Mr. FLORES. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to remember an American hero from this country's Greatest Generation. John ``Jack'' Francis Hannigan was born March 27, 1918 to Frank Hannigan and Elsie Sternweiss Hannigan in New York City. He attended parochial school throughout his life, obtaining a college degree and a law degree from St. John's University in New York. Through his beloved sister Myrtle, he met the love of his life, Marion Josephine Ronayne, and he also fell in love with her large and caring Irish family. They were married on May 2, 1942 at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, thus beginning a union that lasted 67 years. Jack was a navigator and a lawyer in the United States Army Air Corps, serving during World War II in the European theater of operations. As part of the 397th bomb group, also known as the Bridge Busters, he flew 70 combat missions in a B-26 Marauder, including three over Normandy Beach on D-Day. He earned a Purple Heart during his wartime service. In 1948, his commission as a JAG officer was transferred to the newly created United States Air Force. Jack's and his wife's military service spanned 30 years, living in Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Arizona, Germany, Virginia, the Philippine Islands, Massachusetts, Maryland, and, of course, Texas. Throughout his service, he was awarded many medals of commendation, including the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and the Army Commendation Ribbon. Upon retirement, Colonel Hannigan received the Distinguished Service Medal in 1971 at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas. The Hannigans retired to Allen, Texas, and were active parishioners at St. Jude's Catholic Church. While there, he volunteered his legal services and his wife's typing to many church members. Jack and Marion raised a large Irish Catholic family with six children. While the family is spread across the country, the love that Jack and Marion held for them is a bond that will forever unite the Hannigan clan. Jack is survived by his children, John F. Hannigan, Jr., United States Air Force retired colonel of Colorado; Mary Gadow of Arizona; Barbara Clark of Massachusetts; Joan Johnston of Massachusetts; Dr. Jim Hannigan of Austin, Texas; Kathy Havel of Dallas, Texas; 14 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. He will also be remembered for his quick wit, practical jokes, skill with crossword puzzles, love of sports--especially golf--and yes, his ``yes dears'' to his wife, Marion. This Friday, on February 3, 2012, a memorial service will be held at Arlington National Cemetery to honor his and his wife's life of service to our country. Mr. Speaker, the service of Mr. and Mrs. Hannigan to our country will never be forgotten. They serve as examples for our current generations of Americans to emulate. God bless their service, and God bless the United States of America. ____________________