John R. Alison, 98, a World War II fighter pilot who helped lead a daring and unprecedented Allied air invasion of Burma, died Monday at his home in Washington.

A native of Micanopy, Fla., he was a retired Air Force major general and former Northrop Corp. executive.

Gen. Alison's wartime achievements included seven victories, six in the air, qualifying him as an ace, according to the Air Force Association, an independent organization in Arlington, Va., that promotes public understanding of aerospace power.

Gen. Alison was chosen in 1943 by Gen. Henry "Hap" Arnold, the Army Air Forces commander, for a top-secret mission that flew more than 9,000 troops, nearly 1,300 mules, and 250 tons of supplies behind enemy lines in Burma over six days, according to a November 2009 article in the association's Air Force Magazine.

- AP