Springfield Dr. John B. Turner, WWII Pilot, POW & Great Grandfather Dies At 97

He came to Springfield with the Red Cross Bloodmobile. People encouraged him to…
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Smokey Barn News
Wednesday April 9, 2014
Springfield, Tenn.

Dr. John B. Turner, 97, of Springfield, died Monday April 7, 2014 at NHC Healthcare in Springfield. Funeral services will be conducted Monday April 14th at 11:00 a.m. in the Oakhurst Chapel of the Robertson County Funeral Home with Dr. Jerry Oakley officiating. Interment will follow in Robertson County Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends on Sunday from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. and on Monday from 9:00 a.m. until service time at the funeral home. Masonic services will be Sunday at 5:00 p.m. at the funeral home.

Dr. Turner was born October 22, 1916 in Iuka, MS to the late John Henry and Ida Goodrich Turner. They later moved to Jonesboro, AR, where he attended first through sixth grades, and in 1927 he was baptized in Jonesboro. They then moved to Alamo, TN, where he graduated high school from. Dr. Turner then attended Union University in Jackson. WWII had begun, and he decided to become a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corp. He flew many missions as a bomber pilot. He was based out of Northern Africa. He was shot down over Italy, where he was captured, escaped, but later recaptured. He became a POW in Sagan, Germany (Brena Pass) from June of 1943 until May of 1945. After his release from the POW camp, he met Dwight D. Eisenhower in LaHar, France. Dr. Turner was a Captain in the Air Corp, and he received the Air Medal with 2 bronze oak leaves, and the North African, American, and European Combat Ribbons. His mother was a three star mother during the war, which indicated she had three sons serving. His brother, Guy, who died as a Chaplain during the war, his brother Bill, and Dr. Turner all served during WWII.

Following his war service, Dr. Turner finished his pre-med requirements at Peabody and Vanderbilt. He went to Memphis to med school, and then served his residency and intern program at Baptist Hospital in Nashville. He came to Springfield with the Red Cross Bloodmobile. People encouraged him to move to Springfield and open a private practice. He started his practice in September of 1956 and retired in 1993. He served on staff at Jesse Holman Jones Hospital, and was the Medical Director at NHC in Springfield for thirty years. He was a member of the Honorary Medical Staff at North Crest Medical Center.

Dr. Turner was a member of Springfield Baptist Church, Springfield Chamber of Commerce, Boy Scouts, Western Star Lodge 9 since 1948, 32nd Degree Shriner, Springfield Rotary Club since 1961, the American Legion in Centerville, Springfield, and Greenbrier, the VFW, the American Medical Association, Tennessee Medical Association, and the American Academy of Family Physicians where he was a Board Certified Specialist.

In addition to his parents, Dr. Turner was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years: Lillian Burton Turner, and by his siblings: Irene, Guy, Louise, Maxine, Bill, and Paul. He is survived by his sons and daughters-in-law: John Lee and Debbie Turner of Lenexa, KS, Dr. James Burton and Sandy Turner of Durban, South Africa, William David Turner of Mt. Juliet, daughter and son-in-law: Suzanne and Bill Vermillion of Asheville, NC, sister: Dorise Haynes of Brentwood, grandchildren: Diana Turner, Sam Turner, and Jon (Leslie) Vermillion, step great grandchildren: Cameron and Collin Kindley.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Gorham McBane Public Library or to the American Red Cross

Services:

APR 13 Visitation 01:00PM – 05:00PM Robertson County Funeral Home

2201 Memorial Blvd. Springfield, TN, US, 37172

APR 13 Masonic Service 05:00PM Robertson County Funeral Home

2201 Memorial Blvd. Springfield, TN, US, 37172 (615) 384-0036

APR 14 Visitation0 9:00AM – 11:00AM Robertson County Funeral Home

2201 Memorial Blvd. Springfield, TN, US, 37172

APR 14 Funeral Service 11:00AM Robertson County Funeral Home

2201 Memorial Blvd. Springfield, TN, US, 37172

To  Send Flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Dr. John B. Turner.

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