The Corte Bella Vets were honored to have one of Corte Bella’s residents as the principal speaker for the May meeting. John K. Potter, well-known author, and Air Force Veteran of the Korean War grew up in Muncie, Indiana (Middletown U.S.A.) and is a graduate of Indiana University and the Institute of Far Eastern Languages at Yale University.
He served in Korea as a Mandarin Chinese Linguist and later appeared with “Tops in Blue” the all-Air Force talent show. He began his TV career as a Page for NBC in New York and went on to oversee, produce and write television programs (soap operas, movies for TV, specials and series) for the three major networks (CBS, ABC & NBC) for 44 years. Some of those assignments included: the Supervising Producer for the company-owned soap operas: AS THE WORLD TURNS, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW, THE GUIDING LIGHT, ANOTHER WORLD, EDGE OF NIGHT and SOMMERSET.
He then moved into the prime-time programming where he produced 17 Movies-of-the-Week for ABC, NBC and CBS, ten years of MISS USA, MISS UNIVERSE and MISS TEEN USA specials and THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS for 23 years. He was the Executive in Charge of Production for several series including THE SHIRLEY JONES SHOW and NORTHERN EXPOSURE.
John gave a presentation on why he perceived China is not a military threat based on his Air Force training and his knowledge of Chinese history of not being an “empire building nation”. He also stressed that China is an intelligence threat and the Chinese believe they are the most intellectual people in the world. He believes the recent buildup of naval forces and additional island/port building is based on their perceived need for additional defense of the homeland attitude not aggression. In regards to Taiwan, they still look at Taiwan as part of China and therefore it does not fall into “empire building” but more into “reunification”. John went on to relate an experience in Korea where he was summoned off his radio site, ordered into dress uniform, and taken to an air base where a Chinese Major had defected with a MIG-17. After some discussions and a lunch of hamburger at the base Officer’s Club,
the Major thanked John for his time and effort in perfect English (he had been trained in England). His talk addressed the history of China including the Philosophy and Geography. He also covered the Government and Military, Technology, Population and Westernization.
Submitted by Michael McVeigh, Corte Bella Vet