John Amerspek was 22 when his Army outfit crossed the Atlantic in February, 1943, after a few months training. He was part of a small self-contained group of specialists that consisted of a platoon of 25 soldiers that provided early-warning radar detection of German aircraft for our forces. Their group, called Vermont, contained a cook, medic, drivers, radar operators, maintenance people and security. He was also trained and required to fight as an infantryman, a role he assumed more and more as the war progressed and the ranks of the infantry were decimated by high casualties. His outfit participated in six invasions: North Africa, Pantelleria, Sicily, Salerno, Anzio and Southern France. They were also one of the first to liberate Dachau.
In October, 1945, John returned home to New Jersey and used the GI Bill to earn a bachelor’s degree in industrial management from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He also earned a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology, and served at Picatinny Arsenal for over 30 years.
During this time, John initiated the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Chapter at Picatinny Arsenal—a group dedicated to fostering a more effective relationship between government and industry. For many years he served as President and Chairman of the Board of the Chapter. John was always appreciative of the GI Bill scholarship that began his impressive career, and one of the many things John accomplished during his tenure with the NDIA was a college scholarship program.