HomeAbout UsBiographiesDisplay

THOMAS KNIGHT FINLETTER

PRINT | E-MAIL

Served as secretary of the Air Force from April 24, 1950 to Jan. 20, 1953

Thomas Knight Finletter was the second secretary of the Air Force.

Finletter was born in Philadelphia in 1893, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with both bachelor of arts degree in 1915 and bachelor of laws in 1920. In World War I, he served with the 312th Field Artillery advancing to the rank of captain. He was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in 1920 and the New York Bar in 1921.

Finletter, attorney, student of economic and foreign affairs and author, began his government service in 1941, as a special assistant to the Secretary of State on international economic affairs. In 1943, he was appointed executive director and later deputy director of the Office of Foreign Economic Coordinator. In this post, he was in charge of planning economic activities related to liberated areas and was in control of matters of foreign exchange and matters relating to the operations of the Alien Property Custodian. Finletter resigned his post in 1944, when the functions of OFEC were absorbed by the newly created Foreign Economic Administration.

In 1945, Finletter acted as consultant at the United Nations Conference on International Organization at San Francisco.

He returned to public service July 18, 1947, when President Harry S. Truman established the temporary, five-man commission that inquired into all phases of aviation and drafted the national air policy report.

Prior to his appointment as Air Force Secretary, Finletter was chief of the Economic Cooperation Administration's mission to the United Kingdom with headquarters in London, to which he had been appointed early in 1949.

Finletter served as chairman of the President's Air Policy Commission which, on Jan. 1, 1948, sent to the president the report entitled "Survival in the Air Age." This commission had been established in July 1947 to draft a national air policy.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Our #MilKids & #MilSpouses are the best deal our nation gets. They exhibit a very special kind of courage enduring lon…
While navigating in a joint environment @CJTFHOA, this #cyber #Airman delved into a sister-service qualification co… https://t.co/W4QfiZESks
#ICYMI: A #C17 Globemaster III #aircrew from the 315th & 437th Airlift Wings @TeamCharleston delivered about 10k po… https://t.co/hXdOKP9UKv
As we continue to remember the life of retired Lt. Col. Richard "Dick" Cole, we share his touching interview with… https://t.co/FVrX2VgpTu
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: It is my honor & privilege to host the inaugural Air Chiefs Space Conference. Standing alongside partners from 11 nati…
#LIVE at 9:30 a.m. EDT from the Hill: @ActingSecDef, #GenDunford, @US_Stratcom commander Gen. Hyten &… https://t.co/BCOIUMWZxZ
#DYK: The @USAFBand helps the #USAF build relationships around the world! Our Premier Rock Band, Max Impact, has an… https://t.co/IOEPt88gSh
.@PACAF hosted the first #Airman-To-Airman Talks between the U.S. & #Mongolian #AirForces! Members of the Mongolian… https://t.co/AS4iDTQQ7e
RT @AFSpecOpsCmd: @usairforce Tech. Sgt. Cam Kelsch, a Special Tactics TACP operator with the 17th STS, is presented a Silver Star Medal by…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Just finished a productive mtg w/ fellow Air Chiefs & senior space officials from AUS, CAN, FRA, DEU, NZ, UK & the @AF
Though we may not be blood related, we're all brothers and sisters in arms! #HappyNationalSiblingsDay @USArmyhttps://t.co/gCtXAYYa3c
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Glad to see this great Airman & leader nominated to serve as Vice Chairman! https://t.co/8B1LHEhYm8
RT @DeptofDefense: We mourn the loss of Marines Cpl. Robert A. Hendriks, Sgt. Benjamin S. Hines, and Staff Sgt. Christopher K.A. Slutman, w…
RT @AFSpace: Our CSAF, @GenDaveGoldfein, is not afraid to punch back should a space adversary step into the ring with the U.S. @usairforce
#PhoenixSpark is empowering #Airmen to develop ideas to support the warfighter at home station or downrange.… https://t.co/x7q0CwEcmp
Capt. Andrew Olson, #F35 Demo Team #pilot & commander, performs a dedication pass during the Melbourne Air & Space… https://t.co/JenRRrmvOh
The top echelon of the U.S.'s civilian & military leadership offered unflinching assurances today that America’s su… https://t.co/mEOGv6Fp2J
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Lt Col Dick Cole has slipped the surly bonds of Earth & reunited w/his fellow Doolittle Raiders. We offer our eternal…