JOHN MCCORMICK of Winter Park, Florida. Holiday Cove Original Owner - Board Member – World War 2 Hero – Attorney – Father, Grandfather, Great-Grandfather and Friend.
John was a member of a small group of Orlando attorneys, physicians and businessmen that initiated a vacation and rental community in 1965 called Holiday Cove North, and was the original owner of Unit 27. He served on the Second Holiday Housing Association board of directors from its origination in 1968 until 2011, with most of his tenure as President of the board. His law office also served as closing agent for the transfer of units at Holiday Cove North and he worked closely with Holiday Housing Association in researching the purchase of land from Holiday Development Company, which is now owned by Seashell Holdings, LLC.
John was born in Gary, Indiana as one of nine children. After working many years in the steel mills of Gary, John enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps when he was 18 years old. He attended flight school in Texas and eventually graduated from Lubbock Air School in 1943 as a B-24 pilot. He was assigned to pilot a B-24 in the 15th Air Force based in Grottaglie, Italy and was flying with the McCormick Crew on a famous April 4, 1944 raid over Bucharest, Romania, when his B-24 was shot down by a German Messerschmidt during a lengthy and intense air battle. John became a prisoner of war along with 4 other members of his crew who were fortunate to survive the crash. He was among almost 3,000 airmen rescued in the Fall of 1944 during an OSS plan called "Operation Reunion a/k/a Operation Gunn". During his military career, John received many honors and awards including the Purple Heart, Air Medal, Prisoner of War Medal, European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, World War II medal, and the Presidential Unit Citation Award for his participation in the April 4th mission.
After his return from World War II, John was stationed at Orlando Air Base and retired as a Lt Colonel. He attended the University of Florida under the GI Bill where he received his Juris Doctor in law and worked for several large law firms in Orlando as well as the Florida Real Estate Commission and as a past secretary of the Orange County Bar Association. He purchased a building in Downtown Orlando where he hung his shingle and served the Florida Bar and the Orange County Bar Association for more than 50 years maintaining a small but successful practice in the fields of Wills and Trusts; Probate; and Real Property Law, along with the assistance of his daughter Beth McCormick Ciullo. John was beloved by his many clients who always became friends.
Throughout his career, John continued to serve his church and community in various positions including the 449th Bomb Group; President of the Former Prisoners of War in Romania; Commander of the American Legion Post 112; St. Margaret Mary church board, and board of American Lung Association of Orlando. In 2014, he was instrumental in delivering supplies and financial support from the POW Association to an orphanage in Bucharest in appreciation for their treatment of POWs during World War II.
"Dad was the most generous person I have ever known. He cared more about others more than himself and was constantly asking how he could give. Dad was always there for his family and supported our dreams and lifted us up even in our failures. Dad has now slipped the surly bonds of earth and dances the skies on laughter-silvered wings. There he touches the face of God". (Excerpt from High Flight by fellow Pilot Gillespie Magee)
-- Beth McCormick Ciullo