John Posten was born on March 24, 1921, in Atlantic Highland, New Jersey. He enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Army Air Corps on July 26, 1940, and was commissioned a 2d Lt and awarded his pilot wings on March 14, 1941. His first assignment was as a P-40 Warhawk pilot with the 17th Pursuit Squadron of the 24th Pursuit Group in the Philippines from March 1941 to April 1942, during which time he was credited with destroying 3.5 enemy aircraft in aerial combat during the opening days of World War II. Lt Posten next joined the 7th Fighter Squadron of the 49th Fighter Group in Australia, and deployed with the group to New Guinea in September 1942 before returning to the U.S. in November 1942. During this time he was credited with 1 more enemy aircraft destroyed in the air plus 1 probable, for a total of 4.5 destroyed and 1 probable during World War II. After returning to the States, Maj Posten served as an instructor pilot and supervisor of flying training. After the war, Col Posten completed Nuclear Weapons Training and served with the 1090th SRG of the Defense Nuclear Agency at Sandia Base, New Mexico, from November 1951 to August 1953, followed by service as an operations staff officer with Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe at Wiesbaden, West Germany, from August 1953 to October 1956. His next assignment was as Deputy Commander of the 3241st Test Group at Eglin AFB, Florida, from October 1956 to February 1958, followed by service with the Air Force Proving Ground Center and with Air Forces Systems Command at Eglin AFB from February 1958 to January 1962. His final assignment was as Operations Officer, Executive Officer, and then Commander of the 587th Tactical Missile Group at Sembach AB, West Germany, from January 1962 until he retired from the Air Force on September 1, 1962. John Posten died on August 29, 2002, and was buried at the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veteran's Memorial Cemetery in Wrightstown, New Jersey.
His 1st (of 3) Silver Star Citation reads:
For gallantry in action over the Philippine Islands on January 26, 1942. While engaged in aerial combat over the Philippine Islands, Lieutenant Posten successfully shot down a Japanese dive bomber. His actions have always been in keeping with the highest standards of the Service.