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John Comer flew twenty-five combat missions over occupied Europe and Germany in 1943, including the infamous raid on the Schweinfurt ball-bearing plant that is still referred to in the Air Force as Black Thursday. After completing his tour with the 8th Air Force, Comer returned to the States and was assigned to train new pilots. Believing this duty to be the most hazardous of all, he volunteered to return to combat and flew fifty more missions in Italy for a total of 75. He retired in 1974 after a successful career in sales and lived in Dallas, Texas. He published his World War II memoirs in 1986 and found a worldwide audience. He died at the age of 95 in 2005.