MAJOR GENERAL JOHN B. ACKERMAN
Died June 13,1981
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John Bevier Ackerman was born in Auburn, N.Y., in 1909. His family later moved to Watertown, N.Y. He graduated from Watertown High School in 1926. After a year in business college in Watertown and another year at Marion Institute, Marion, Ala., he entered the United States Military Academy in July 1928. He secured his appointment through competition as a member of the New York National Guard. He graduated in 1932, 53 in a class of 262.
Second Lieutenant Ackerman's first assignment was to an anti-aircraft battery in the Coast Artillery at Port MacArthur, San Pedro, Calif. It is interesting to note that it was the only such battery in existence at that time.
Lieutenant Ackerman entered the class of October 1933, at Randolph Field, Texas, and after an absence of six months because of illness he graduated in June 1935. He has maintained his pilot's rating continuously ever since.
Lieutenant Ackerman's first assignment after Kelly was Maxwell Field, Ala., where he served as a squadron officer under various commanders - a notable one was Major Claire Chennault. In 1938 he attended California Institute of Technology's graduate school and after a year's study was awarded the degree of master of science and aeronautics in the field of aviation meteorology.
Following this training, Captain Ackerman was station weather officer and assistant operations officer at Chanute Field, Ill., until the beginning of 1940. At this time General Arnold, then Chief of the Air Corps, assigned Ackerman along with three other experienced Air Force meteorologists to the California Institute of Technology again in a research project designed to prove or disprove certain theories concerning long range weather forecasts. General Arnold thought this was an extremely important subject in its relationship to the efficient use of air power.
After this brief interlude at CalTech, Major Ackerman for the next three years participated in the organizing, training and manning of the Air Corps Weather Service which grew from a tiny nucleus to a worldwide service in that time.
In the summer 1943 Colonel Ackerman joined the 58th Bombardment Wing, which was the nucleus of the B-29 effort, and organized its weather service.
Following this assignment, Colonel Ackerman was assigned to the China-Burma-India theater and for the next year was General Stratemeyer's war planner. He additionally served on the combined Air Command Staff comprising British and American officers.
On his return to the United States in December 1944, Colonel Ackerman for six months was assigned to the headquarters of the Air Corps and while there occupied the position of assistant for Air Forces and in his role developed proper means for the employment of air power. In the course of this assignment he was the Air Force observer in Operation Iceberg which was the Navy's occupation of the Ryukyus Islands.
Following this assignment, Colonel Ackerman was the assistant chief of staff, plans, for the Continental Air Forces from May 1945, until March 1946. This was the period during which Air Force units were deployed from the European to the Pacific theaters and Continental Air Forces planned and executed that task.
In August 1946, Colonel Ackerman was sent to London as assistant air attache and in 1949 was made air attache upon the relief of the then Brigadier General Thomas Power, who later became commander of Strategic Air Command.
In 1950 General Ackerman returned to Washington and was deputy director of intelligence until 1953 when he was assigned as vice director of the National Security Agency. While serving in this latter position he was promoted to major general.
In August 1956, General Ackerman became commander of the Thirteenth Air Force, with station in the Philippines. This command has units in Formosa, Guam and the Philippines, with general responsibility for Air Force interests throughout Southeast Asia.
In March 1958, General Ackerman returned to the United States and assumed the post of deputy commander, Air Force Security Service, San Antonio, Texas.
General Ackerman is the son of John Walter and Bertha Vedder Ackerman of Auburn, New York. His parents are Holland Dutch stock. Both sides of the family arrived in the United States prior to 1640. He is a member of the Holland Society of New York.
(Current as of Aug. 13, 1959)