Geographic Connection to Pennsylvania: Emporium, Cameron County
Gen. Joseph McNarney commanded the Occupation of Germany after WWII.
Joseph McNarney was born in Emporium, Pennsylvania, on August 28, 1893. His initial training at West Point lead him to become promoted captain. After serving in various staff and line posts during the interwar years, he became deputy chief-of-staff under George Marshall in March 1942. McNarney investigated the conduct of Army and Navy staff commanders after the attack on Pearl Harbor and developed a plan for anti-submarine warfare, which lead to the destruction of the German hold on the sea-lanes. He was promoted to full general in 1945 and became top commander of the Mediterranean Theater, European Theater, and the U.S. Forces of Occupation in Germany and finally in 1952 he retired. Joseph McNarney died on February 1, 1972, in La Jolla, California
Joseph Taggart McNarney was born August 28, 1893, in Emporium, Pennsylvania. In 1915, at 22-years-old, he graduated from West Point and was commissioned as a second lieutenant of infantry. By 1917, he became an instructor in meteorology and radiotelegraphy and was then promoted to captain. Also in 1917, McNarney went to France and became an assistant to the 1st Corps Aeronautical School and then helped direct the 2nd Corps School and led flight of the 1st Aero Squadron in the Toul sector. He was the commanding officer of the 1st Corps Observation Group, Chief of Air Service of the 3rd Crops, and on the staff of the chief of Air Service during the Chateau Thierry and commanded the Air Corps and 5th Corps during the St. Mihiel offensive and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. In addition, while on duty at American Expeditionary Force Headquarters in Paris, he wrote a manual on air observation. After returning to the United States in 1919, he became a flight instructor at Gerstner Field, Louisiana and Langley Field, Virginia. He then went to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas where he graduated with honors and worked for three years in intelligence functions in the Air Section of the War Department General Staff. In June 1939, McNarney became a member of the Joint Army-Navy Planning Committee.
Working under General George C. Marshall, he helped develop a new and different war department to adapt to WWII. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he investigated the conduct of Army and Navy commanders in Hawaii for the Roberts Commission. He became deputy chief of staff and developed the plan of anti-submarine warfare. He instructed General Henry Arnold to organize a new bomber command, the Army Air Forces Antisubmarine Command, and ordered the bombers to attack hostile submarines “wherever they may be operating.” Because of this command, the German hold on the sea-lanes was eventually destroyed. By 1945, he was promoted to full general and became top commander of the Mediterranean Theater, European Theater, and the U.S. Forces of Occupation in Germany. For his noteworthy conduct in the military, Joseph McNarney was highly commended with awards such as the Distinguished Service Medal with Three oak leaf clusters, Legion of Merit, and the Navy Distinguished Service Medal.
After his final return to the United States, McNarney held several stateside positions such as commanding general of Air Material Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio and chief of the Department of Defense’s Management Committee. Joseph McNarney retired on January 31, 1952, to become president of Consolidated Vultee Aircraft, later the Convair Division of General Dynamics Corporation in California. McNarney died on February 1, 1972, in La Jolla, California, but even after his death, he was still thought of as a great man. In a 1983 interview, General Elwood P. Quesada, Air Force pioneer and former head of the Federal Aviation Administration said, “Joe McNarney was the straightest of the straight arrows, a real gentleman. If the world were fair, he would have been Air Force Chief of Staff, and he should have been.”
Baker, Dr. Bud. “Clipped Wings: The Death of Jack Northrop’s Flying Wing Bombers.” Acquisition Review Quarterly 8.1 (2001): 197-220.