John W. Peige, a decorated World War II pilot and aircraft technician, died Feb. 14 of cancer at his home in Bowleys Quarters in Baltimore County. He was 79.
A native of Ashford, Conn., Mr. Peige began his long aviation career barnstorming and stunt flying in New England. He worked as an aircraft technician in Middle River with the Glenn L. Martin Co. -- now Martin Marietta Corp.
Mr. Peige became a pilot in the Army Air Corps during World War II, serving with the Eighth Air Force in Europe. He flew unarmed L-5 reconnaissance aircraft, transporting Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower's staff officers from place to place during battles.
He received the Air Medal for operations in Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge.
After the war, he returned to the Martin plant as an experimental air-frame mechanic, making prototypes for new designs. He then worked for General Electric Aerospace in King of Prussia, Pa., as a spacecraft assemblyman until his retirement in 1971.
Mr. Peige was a member of the Experimental Aircraft Owners Association and at the time of his death was restoring a pre-World War II Ryan PT-22 trainer.
He is survived by a son, John D. Peige of Perry Hall; a daughter, Partice A. Peige of Bowleys Quarters; his former wife, Roay Garrison; a sister, Eleanor Sable of the Bronx, N.Y.; and four grandchildren.