Died June 23,1997
Lieutenant General John B. McPherson is assistant to the chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.
General McPherson was born in 1917, at Virginia, Minn., and the same year moved to Warren, Ariz. He graduated from Bisbee High School, Bisbee, Ariz., in 1934, and from the University of Arizona, in 1940, with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering and, as an honor graduate of the Reserve Officers Training Corps, received a commission in the Regular Army as a second lieutenant, Cavalry.
In July 1940 he was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Bliss, Texas, and later attended the Cavalry School, Fort Riley, Kan. In January 1943 he entered flying school; and upon graduation in July 1943, he was transferred to the Air Corps. After B-24 pilot training, he became an instructor in the B-24 Combat Crew Training Program at Davis-Monthan Field. He was assigned to the 315th Bombardment Wing, in February 1945, as operations and training staff officer and, in May 1945, went with the wing to Guam where he was serving at the end of World War II.
He was transferred to the 374th Troop Carrier Group in July 1946 in the Philippine Islands, where he served as operations officer. He returned to the United States and in May 1947 was assigned to the Personnel Division, Headquarters Eighth Air Force at Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, and later became director of personnel.
In September 1950 General McPherson became base commander of Walker Air Force Base, N.M. During this assignment he was named "Outstanding Young Man of the Year 1951" by the Roswell Junior Chamber of Commerce and received the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award for Outstanding Community Service.
He entered the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in August 1952 and after graduation remained as an instructor and became head of the faculty. In August 1956 he was transferred overseas to Morocco with assignment as chief of staff, 5th Air Division, and later became deputy commander.
General McPherson returned to the United States in February 1958 and went to Homestead Air Force Base, Fla., where he served as commander of the 379th Bombardment Wing and then commander of the 823rd Air Division. In August 1962 he went to Minot Air Force Base, N.D., as commander, 810th Strategic Aerospace Division.
In June 1964 he was transferred to Washington, D.C., and was assigned to the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff where he served as vice director, Operations, J-3, until May 1967; then as vice director, the Joint Staff; and in August 1968 assumed duties as assistant to the chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.
His military decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal and Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem. He is a command pilot.
(Current as of Aug. 15, 1969)
Change in assignment to commandant, national War College, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C., effective July 1, 1970.