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Vet featured in S-R series dies


Spokane's John Wills, now 92, was stationed in Iran during World War II to help build 1,000-mile highway and railroad links to the Soviet Union. Millions of tons of U.S. aid was transported through the Persian Corridor to Soviet troops. The photo in his hands shows the young engineer in his military uniform. 
 (CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON / The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane's John Wills, now 92, was stationed in Iran during World War II to help build 1,000-mile highway and railroad links to the Soviet Union. Millions of tons of U.S. aid was transported through the Persian Corridor to Soviet troops. The photo in his hands shows the young engineer in his military uniform. (CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON / The Spokesman-Review)

John Wills, a World War II veteran who was featured in The Spokesman-Review’s Voices of War series in 2008, has died.

Wills served in the Persian Gulf Command, a strategically important but little-known operation that supplied arms and material to the Soviet Union through Iran from 1942 to 1945. He was second-in-command of the 454 Engineers Supply Depot.

“I personally believe the mission to Iran probably shortened the war about two years,” Wills said in a 2008 interview.

Upon his return to Spokane, Wills founded Abadan Inc., named for the city in Iran near where he was stationed.


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