Pacific Fighters was founded on tax day April 15th, 1987 in Chino, California. Some of our very first projects were the restoration of a P-63 King Cobra and the restoration of a T-20 Sea Fury that became the famous “Cotton Mouth”. This particular Sea Fury was the very first to be fitted with the Wright Cyclone R-3350. Its massive amount of horsepower and highly polished finish became a fan favorite at the Reno National Air Races, in Reno NV. Pacific Fighters relocated to Idaho Falls, ID in 1996 and moved into a 10,000 square foot hangar built with restoring these iconic aircraft in mind. Together with our exceptional crew we’ve received more than 25 awards and have won the NAHI Smithsonian Institute Invitational Grand champion award twice. We have worked with customers from all over the world and have worked on over 50 different types of vintage aircraft.
John grew up in Rialto, CA. At the Age of 14 John and his older brother Bill started going to Ontario Airport to volunteer at the Air Museum, which later became Planes of Fame Air Museum. It was there that John and Bill met Jim Maloney and Steve Hinton and the well know “Chino Kids” were formed. John did everything he could to be around airplanes. A burning passion for aviation that may have came from his Grandfather who was a World War I Fighter Pilot. At the age of 18 John received his PPL and by the age of 22 was flying P-51 Mustangs. In 1975 John joined Ed Browning’s Red Baron Racing Team and moved up to Idaho Falls, ID to work on the Famous RB-51. John would eventually become one of only four people to ever fly the highly modified racer. After the closing of the team John went back to California and met his wife Karen. John has experience flying some of the rarest aircraft around. A few of note are: The RB-51, Mitsubishi Zero, P-38 Lightening, The Grumman Cat series, The Super Corsair, Seversky AT-12, and too many others to mention. John is also one of just a handful of people that has flown the 5 main models of the P-51. The P-51 A, B, C, D, and K. John has also flown in major motion pictures and is one of just 240 people to ever Race Unlimited’s at the prestigious Reno Air Races in Reno, NV. His passion for aviation and love for restoration is why he started Pacific Fighters.