Lieutenant Colonel Albert J. Britton enrolled at UNH in 1941 as a freshman-engineering student and participated in the ROTC program. With the onset of World War II, he left UNH and enlisted in the Army Air Corps. Lt Col Britton entered the Aviation Cadet Program, attended Navigation School, and received his wings and commission in 1944. Assigned to the 8th Air Force in England, he flew 30 missions in the B-24. He was awarded four Air Medals and the Distinguished Flying Cross for his flying contributions during WWII. In addition, he later flew as part of the Air Transport Command, airlifting hospital patients from Europe and ferrying aircraft throughout the Pacific.
Lt Col Britton separated from the Army and returned to UNH in 1945. He became a star basketball player and served as the University’s team captain for two years. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1948 with a Bachelor’s Degree in History.
In 1951, Lt Col Britton was recalled to active duty for the Korean War. He attended Radar Observer School and was assigned to F94 All Weather Interception at McChord AFB, WA. He was sent to Korea in 1953 and assigned to the 319th Interceptor Squadron, performing all weather and night patrols over the DMZ. He returned to the United States to serve as an ROTC Instructor from 1955-1958 at the University of New Hampshire. He returned to flying as part of the Airborne Early Warning unit at Otis AFB, and was later handpicked for a three-year tour as a member of the CINC NORAD crew. Lt Col Britton returned to teaching, this time at the University of Hawaii ROTC from 1962-1965. Progressing in rank, he then served in leadership roles at Navigator Training School. These positions included Squadron Commander and Chief of Wing Scheduling at Mather AFB, CA. In 1966, he served our country in a third war. He flew missions in the Vietnam conflict as part of the 8th TAC Bomb Squadron, performing night dive bombing over Laos and North Vietnam. He was awarded ten Air Medals, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, and the Air Force Commendation Medal for his aviation efforts.
Upon retiring from the Air Force in 1970, Lt Col Britton returned his family to native New Hampshire, settling in Salisbury. He pursued his new career teaching US History, NH History, and the US Constitution to 8th graders at Merrimack Valley High School (MVHS) in Penacook, NH. While at MVHS, he was selected as Teacher of the Year in 1978 and coached the Varsity Girls Basketball Team for five years. Lt Col Britton retired from MVHS in 1982. Unable to remain inactive, he served as a volunteer Congressional District Coordinator for the “We The People” National Competition School Program. As well as being an exceptional teacher, Lt Col Britton also donated countless hours to civil service. He served on the Salisbury Board of Adjusters for many years and was a Selectman for the town from 1980-1983. For all his selfless dedication and exemplary service to the community, he was selected as Salisbury’s Citizen of the Year for 2003.
For outstanding service to the Army Air Corps, the United States Air Force, and New Hampshire education/community, Lieutenant Colonel Albert J. Britton is inducted into the ROTC Hall of Fame.