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John Wayland Mayo

LT COL in 23rd Headquarters Co


Born 1901 in TX, Died 1980

Other residence(s): Calvert, TX; Texarkana, AR; Dallas, TX
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: partner in realty loan/brokerage co.
College education before the war: Texas A&M, Cornell
Notes: Bronze Star; GO #21, Sec II, Hq 12th A Gp, 1 May 45. Meritorious Service: Staff Officer (FA O), France, 1 Jul-10 Nov 44
Source: Roster of 23d HQ officers, from family of Oscar Seale; Awards and Decorations; photo from Ancestry® (Cornell 1923 yearbook)

John Mayo was born on November 14, 1901 in Calvert, TX, the oldest of five children. His father was an insurance adjuster, and the family was living in Dallas by 1910.

Photo from Texas A&M 1922 yearbook

John graduated from Texas A&M in 1922 with a degree in mechanical engineering. His yearbook says that he was a "distinguished student," that he was a member of Tau Beta Pi fraternity, and that his nickname was "Sunshine." "The friends he made are many and true, and his path through college has been characterized by a high scholastic standing and a heartfelt interest in school affairs." He was commissioned a 2LT in the National Guard in December, 1922 while he was pursuing either a second bachelor's degree or a master's degree in mechanical engineering at Cornell. He graduated from Cornell in 1923.

On August 31, 1927 he married Annie Dunn Estes of Texarkana, AR. He was already working in Texarkana, selling real estate. He continued to serve in the National Guard; in 1930, he was promoted to 1LT and in that role he organized and commanded the Headquarters Battery of the 142nd Field Artillery of the Arkansas National Guard.

John and Annie had two children during this period—William, born in 1929, and Ann, born in 1931. In 1935 he became a partner in a new organization—The Mayo-Hawley Company—a realty loan and brokerage firm.

In 1936, John was promoted to the rank of CPT in the National Guard, and in January, 1941, his unit was mobilized as an Army field artillery unit, with John still as its commander. He was promoted to the rank of MAJ a few months later.

In July, 1942 he earned the rank of LTC, and then served for a time as an instructor at Fort Sill, OK. He was assigned to the 18th Field Artillery Brigade when it was formed in October, 1943. But, as the Ghost Army was assembling itself, he was attached to that unit as part of the 23rd Headquarters Company.

He was one of a group of seven officers from the Ghost Army who formed an advance party, flying to England on April 10, 1944.

Various articles about his World War II service say that he "served in the counterintelligence department in Europe during World War II" or that he "served in the special plans division of the 12th Army group."

His younger brother, Robert, was also an officer in World War II, serving as a Navy commander.

John remained a full-time Army officer until his discharge in January, 1946. Then he settled in Dallas with his family. He became a partner in the Mayo Mortgage Company and the Mayo Company in Dallas (which he formed in 1946), dealing with property management, mortgage loans, and insurance.

He continued to serve in the National Guard, and in 1948 he was named President of the Texas department of the Reserve Officers Association. In 1950 he was appointed the commanding officer of the Army's 90th Division Artillery.

He retired from his military commitments in 1955 after 32 years of service in the Army and Army Reserve; he held the rank of COL.

John also took on a number of civic and community responsibilities. Starting in 1955, he was, for many years, Chair of the Dallas City/County Civil Defense Commission. He was also involved in a number of veterans' organizations, serving as Commander of the Metropolitan American Legion Post in the mid-1950s, and later in the 1950s as VP and then President of the Dallas Veterans Service Center. In the 1960s, he was a board member for the Red Cross in Dallas. He was also a member of the Dallas Hella Shrine Temple.

He spoke frequently on a variety of topics—military preparedness, civil defense, and the dangers of Communism and socialism—to various groups including the DAR, PTA groups, Republican clubs, women's groups, social clubs, military organizations, and the Army War College.

He wrote numerous letters to the editor on these and similar topics, right up until a few weeks before his death. He died of a heart attack on June 7, 1980 and is entombed at Restland's Abbey Mausoleum in Dallas. (His wife had died four years earlier.)


1922 Texas A&M yearbook (see link below)

1923 Cornell yearbook (see link below)


1910 census

1920 census

1922 Texas A&M yearbook

1923 Cornell yearbook

1927 his wedding announcement in Dallas Morning News (TX)

1930 census

1931 article in the Dallas Morning News; he is commander of a new unit in the Arkansas National Guard

1940 census

1943 article in the Lawton Constitution (OK); he graduated Texas A&M in 1922 and is stationed at Fort Sill, OK

1943 US military register

1947 article in the Dallas Morning News (TX); includes work history

1949 article in Corpus Christi Caller-Times (TX) showing he is president of the TX dept of ROA

1949 article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (TX) that discusses his World War 2 role

1954 article in the Dallas Morning News (TX); his Commander of his American Legion Post

1955 wedding announcement of his son in Corpus Christi Caller-Times (TX)

1955 article in the Dallas Morning News (TX) about his retirement from the Reserves (with bio details)

1959 article in the Daily News-Texan about his role in the Dallas Civil Defense and Disaster Commission

1959 article in the Dallas Morning News (TX); he becomes President of the Dallas Veterans Service Center

1962 article in the Hearne Democrat (TX) about a speech he gave; gives biographical details

1966 US Select Military Registers''

1980 Find a Grave record*pfpx7t*_ga*MTE1MjM2NzQwNy4xNjc2NDY0MjE5*_ga_4QT8FMEX30*MTY3NzU4NTA2NS4zMC4xLjE2Nzc1ODgzMTQuNjAuMC4w*_ga_B2YGR3SSMB*NGMzYTg1OTQtMDEwZS00MDA3LWJlMDAtYmYxYzQ2MTk5NDNkLjI4LjEuMTY3NzU4ODMxNS41OC4wLjA.

1980 Texas death certificate

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