John F. Williams

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For the New York politician, see John F. Williams (New York).
John Francis Williams
John F. Williams.jpg
Born (1887-01-07)January 7, 1887
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Died May 29, 1953(1953-05-29) (aged 66)
Pasadena, California
Buried at Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch United States Army seal United States Army
Years of service 1903 - 1904, 1917 - 1919, 1921 - 1946
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Major General
Unit Missouri National Guard
National Guard Bureau
Commands held 196th Infantry Brigade
Chief of the National Guard Bureau
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Army Distinguished Service Medal
Other work Journalist

John Francis Williams (January 7, 1887 – May 29, 1953) was an Army National Guard Major General who served as Chief of the National Guard Bureau during World War II.

Early life[edit]

John Francis Williams was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on January 7, 1887, and raised in Pierce City, Missouri. He enlisted in the 2nd Infantry Regiment of the Missouri National Guard in March, 1903, and was discharged in September, 1904 with the rank of private.[1]

He worked as the manager of zinc mines in Missouri until attending college, graduating from the University of Missouri in 1911. He then became a reporter and editor for the St. Louis Star and other Missouri newspapers.[2]

World War I[edit]

When the United States entered World War I in April 1917, he was commissioned a First Lieutenant in the 128th Machine Gun Battalion, 35th Infantry Division, and served in France until returning home in 1919.[3]

Following the war, Williams became a reporter for the Kansas City Star and editor for the Joplin Globe, later the Joplin News-Herald.[4]

Post World War I[edit]

From 1922 to 1936 Williams was Director of Publications for the University of Missouri.[5]

Williams again entered the military when he was appointed Major in June 1921 and became commander of the 128th Field Artillery Regiment with the rank of Colonel in April 1923.[6]

In 1935 he was appointed Deputy Chief of the National Guard Bureau as a Brigadier General, and also served as Chief of the NGB Regulations and Personnel Divisions.[7] In 1936 he acted as Chief of the National Guard Bureau prior to Albert H. Blanding assuming the post.[8]

World War II[edit]

He was appointed as Chief of the National Guard Bureau in January 1940, with the rank of Major General, and served for the entire duration of the US involvement in World War II.[9][10]

During his tenure Williams lobbied to ensure that the National Guard would be considered in the Army's post-war plans, and that it would be included in the newly organized United States Air Force.[11]

Awards and decorations[edit]

Williams received the Distinguished Service Medal in recognition of his World War II service.[12]

Death and burial[edit]

Following retirement in January 1946, Williams moved to Pasadena, California, where he died from cancer on May 29, 1953.[13] He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Section 3, Site 1872-B.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Military Surgeons of the United States, The Military Surgeon magazine, Volumes 86-87, 1940, page 197
  2. ^ New York National Guard, New York National Guardsman magazine, March, 1940, page 6
  3. ^ United States Field Artillery Association, Field Artillery Journal, Volume 56, 1922, page 55
  4. ^ Military Surgeons of the United States, The Military Surgeon magazine, Volumes 86-87, 1940, page 197
  5. ^ New York National Guard, New York National Guardsman magazine, March, 1940, page 6
  6. ^ Missouri National Guard, History of the Missouri National Guard, 1934, page 17
  7. ^ Bill Clark, Columbia Daily Tribune, Mid-Missouri Learned of South Carolina’s Secession, December 23, 2010
  8. ^ Military Surgeons of the United States, The Military Surgeon magazine, Volumes 86-87, 1940, page 197
  9. ^ Oregon National Guard, Oregon Guard Bulletin New Chief Chosen by War Secretary, March, 1940, page 2
  10. ^ National Guard Bureau, Annual Report for 1946, 1947, page 4
  11. ^ Charles J. Gross, National Guard Association of the United States, A Force Within, June, 2012
  12. ^ Military Times, Hall of Valor, Distinguished Service Medal citation, John F. Williams, accessed April 19, 2013
  13. ^ New York Times, Maj. Gen. Williams, Led National Guard, May 31, 1953
  14. ^ Arlington National Cemetery, Burial record, John F. Williams Archived 2015-04-18 at the Wayback Machine., accessed April 19, 2013

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Herold J. Weiler
Chief of the National Guard Bureau
1936 –- 1936
Succeeded by
Albert H. Blanding
Preceded by
Albert H. Blanding
Chief of the National Guard Bureau
1940 –- 1946
Succeeded by
Butler B. Miltonberger