John P. Meehan Jr., 79, retired USC professor of physiology who studied the effects of weightlessness and acceleration for NASA, died Oct. 23 in Los Angeles of leukemia.
Born in San Francisco and reared in San Marino, Meehan earned his bachelor's degree from Caltech and his medical degree from USC. During the Korean War, he served as an Air Force colonel heading the Arctic Aeromedical Laboratory at Ladd Air Force Base in Fairbanks, Alaska.
As a physician, Meehan delivered two of his own children while stationed at the remote base. During World War II, he conducted research for the military leading to the development of pressure suits for fighter pilots at high altitudes.
Meehan joined the USC faculty in 1947, and served as chairman of its physiology department from 1966 until his retirement in 1987.