Joseph T. McNarney
|Joseph T. McNarney|
General Joseph T. McNarney
August 28, 1893|
|Died||February 1, 1972
La Jolla, California
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Air Force|
|Years of service||1915 - 1952|
|Commands held||1st Corps Observation Group
2d Army's Observation Group
7th Bomb Group
U.S. Army Forces, Mediterranean Theater
U.S. Forces of Occupation in Germany
Air Materiel Command
|Battles/wars||World War I
World War II
|Awards||Legion of Merit
Distinguished Service Medal with (4)
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
British Knight Commander, Order of Bath
Yugoslavian White Eagle II Degree
Chile Order of Merit with Rosette
Brazilian Military Legion of Merit with Rosette and War Medal
Italian Decorations (three crowns)
Knight Grand Cross
Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus
Legion of Honor with Rosette
Croix de Guerre with Palm
Belgian Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold with Palm
Grand Croix de l'Ordre de la Couronne with Palm
Polish Virtuti Militari Class II
Polonia Restituta Class II
Joseph Taggart McNarney was born on August 28, 1893 at Emporium, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in June 1915 (as part of "the class the stars fell on") and was commissioned a second lieutenant of Infantry. McNarney served with the 21st Infantry at Vancouver Barracks, Washington, and with the 37th Infantry at Yuma, Arizona. In July 1916 he became a first lieutenant and began flight training at San Diego, California. One year later he was rated a junior military aviator and transferred to the Signal Corps Aviation Section. He became an instructor in meteorology and radio telegraphy and was promoted to captain in May 1917.
World War I
McNarney went to France in 1917 and became an assistant to the 1st Corps Aeronautical School. He joined Headquarters Air Service in January 1918. McNarney helped direct the 2d Corps School and led flights of the 1st Aero Squadron in the Toul sector. He was promoted to major in June 1918. During the Chateau Thierry offensive he was commanding officer of the 1st Corps Observation Group, chief of Air Service of the 3d Corps, and on the staff of the chief of Air Service of the 1st Army. He commanded the Air Corps during the St. Mihiel offensive and the 5th Corps during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. In February 1919 he became commanding officer of the 2d Army's Observation Group and was promoted to lieutenant colonel in May 1919. While on duty at American Expeditionary Force Headquarters he Paris, McNarney wrote a manual on air observation.
Between the World Wars
He returned to the United States in October 1919 to take charge of the flying school at Gerstner Field, Louisiana. In September 1920 he reverted to his grade of captain. He went to Langley Field, Virginia, in November remaining there five years as student and instructor in what became the Air Corps Tactical School. McNarney graduated with honors from the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and spent the next three years in intelligence functions in the Air Section of the War Department General Staff. In August 1930 he completed the Army War College course and went to March Field, California, as commanding officer of the Primary Flying School, moving with it to Randolph Field, Texas. He also served as commanding officer of the 7th Bomb Group and executive officer of the 1st Bomb Wing at March Field.
McNarney was an instructor at the Army War College in Washington from August 1933 to March 1935, when he went to Langley Field, Virginia, as G-4, helping in the organization of the new General Headquarters Air Force. In July 1938 he was assigned to Hamilton Field, California, and in less than a year returned to Washington to serve in the War Plans Division of the War Department General Staff.
McNarney became a member of the Joint Army-Navy Planning Committee in June 1939. The following March he was promoted to colonel after going up the promotion ladder the second time. In May he was appointed to the Canada-United States Permanent Defense Board. He became a brigadier general in April 1941. One month later he was assigned as chief of staff of a special Army observer group in London, serving until December 1941.
World War II
After the attack on Pearl Harbor he served on the Roberts Commission which investigated the Army and Navy commanders in Hawaii. In January 1942 McNarney was promoted to major general and appointed to the War Department Reorganization Board. He became deputy chief of staff of the Army in March with promotion to lieutenant general in June. While deputy chief of staff, McNarney developed the plan of anti-submarine warfare and instructed General Arnold to organize a new bomber command, the Army Air Forces Antisubmarine Command. McNarney ordered the bombers to attack hostile submarines "wherever they may be operating." This offensive measure eventually destroyed the German hold on sea lanes.
McNarney was high among the suggested men who might serve as supreme commander of the Pacific War, but the position was not created, and McNarney not appointed. In October 1942 when United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) Chief of Staff Henry H. Arnold proposed to Army Chief of Staff George Marshall that an Army man be named supreme commander for the whole Allied effort in the Pacific, suggesting Douglas MacArthur, McNarney or Lesley McNair for the position, Marshall without comment passed the request to his staff for analysis. There, Albert Wedemeyer and St. Clair Streett examined the problem. Wedemeyer, an Army officer, thought the supreme commander should be an airman; either Arnold or McNarney. Streett, too, was in favor of one supreme commander but he recognized the political challenges—he projected that the president would have to make the appointment, not a committee of military men. For supreme commander in the Pacific, Streett suggested McNarney or Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, depending on whether an air or a naval strategy was considered most important. About MacArthur, Streett wrote that "[a]t the risk of being considered naive and just plain country-boy dumb," he thought that MacArthur would have to be removed from the Pacific in order for there to be any sound cooperation in the theater. Streett suggested MacArthur be appointed ambassador to "Russia" or some similar position of high stature but low military influence. Of this analysis work, nothing was enacted; Marshall did not bring the problem and its suggested solutions to either the Navy or the president.
McNarney went to Europe as Deputy Supreme Allied Commander in the Mediterranean Theater and commanding general of the U.S. Army Forces, Mediterranean Theater, in October 1944. He was promoted to full general in March 1945 and in September became acting supreme allied commander of the Mediterranean Theater. He became commanding general of the U.S. Forces in the European Theater and commander in chief, U.S. Forces of Occupation in Germany in November.
McNarney was complicit in the repatriation of men of Soviet origin who had fought alongside the forces of the Western Allies in Italy against the Nazis to the Soviet Union to face Stalinist oppression, as part of Operation Keelhaul.
After World War II
General McNarney returned to the United States as senior member of the United Nations Military Staff Committee in New York City in March 1947. He became commanding general of Air Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio in October. He left Air Materiel Command to become chief of the Department of Defense's Management Committee in September 1949. McNarney retired on January 31, 1952 and held executive positions with General Dynamics, and later served on the Draper Committee. He died February 1, 1972 in La Jolla, California.
Awards and decorations
General McNarney's awards include the Legion of Merit; Distinguished Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters; Navy Distinguished Service Medal; British Honorary Knight Commander, Order of the Bath; Yugoslavian Order of White Eagle II Degree; Chilean Order of Merit with Rosette; Brazilian Military Legion of Merit with Rosette and War Medal; Italian Decorations (three crowns); Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus; French Legion of Honor, Grand Officer; French Croix de Guerre with Palm; Belgian Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold with Palm; Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown of Belgium; Commander's Cross of the Polish Virtuti Militari and Commander's Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta.
- Morton, Louis. Pacific Command: A Study in Interservice Relations. USAF Academy Harmon Memorial Lecture #3, 1961.
- Julius Epstein (1957), "Repatriation; Threat to America", The American Mercury
Dwight D. Eisenhower
|Commanding General of U.S. Army Europe
26 November 1945 to 15 March 1947
Lucius D. Clay
George S. Patton (acting)
|Military Governor of the U.S. Occupation Zone in Germany
26 November 1945 – 5 January 1947
Lucius D. Clay