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 John Kenneth Cannon

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John Kenneth Cannon

  • Birth 9 Mar 1892 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
  • Death 12 Jan 1955 Arcadia, Los Angeles County, California, USA
  • Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
  • Memorial ID 6603071

United States Air Force General. He was born in Salt Lake City, in what was then Utah Territory, graduating from Utah Agricultural College (now Utah State University) in 1914 and was appointed a second lieutenant in the US Army Infantry Reserve on November 27, 1917. He performed infantry duties at Camp Fremont, California, Camp Mills, New York, the Presidio at San Francisco, California, and Camp Furlong, New Mexico, before taking pilot training at Kelly Field (now Kelly Air Force Base), Texas, in 1921. On April 23, 1922, he completed pursuit pilot training at Ellington Field, Texas. In the fall of 1922, he became the director of flying at Kelly Field. In January 1925, he was assigned to the 5th Pursuit Squadron at Luke Field, Hawaii, where he performed duties as the operations officer of the 5th Composite Group. In 1927, he was reassigned to Selfridge Field, Michigan, as the commander of the 94th Pursuit Squadron. In 1929, he returned to Kelly Field and became the director of pursuit training and in August 1931, he transferred to Randolph Field (now Randolph Air Force Base), Texas as the director of training. He attended the Air Corps Tactical School and the Command and General Staff School prior to his assignment to March Field (now March Air Reserve Base), California, in March 1935. In June 1938, he was assigned to Buenos Aires, Argentina, as chief of the US Military Mission, receiving promotions to major in March 1940 and lieutenant colonel in January 1941. In October 1941, he was assigned to Mitchel Field, Long Island, New York, as chief of staff of 1st Air Force, commanding the 1st Interceptor Command, with promotion to brigadier general in February 1942 after the outbreak of World War II. During Operation Torch in November 1942, he was the commanding general of XII Air Support Command for the Western Task Force during the invasion of French Morocco. He moved to Algeria as the commanding general of the XII Bomber Command. He organized and commanded the Northwest African Training Command, Northwest African Air Forces of the Mediterranean Air Command in March through April 1943. In May 1943 he became the deputy commanding general of the Northwest African tactical Air Force under Commander Air Marshall Sir Arthur Coningham for the Sicilian campaign and the Allied invasion of Italy. He received a promotion to major general in June 1943 and became the commanding general of both the Twelfth Air Force and the Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Force in December 1943. He was responsible for all air operations during the Allied invasion of southern France in August 1944, under Operation Dragoon. In March 1945, he was promoted to lieutenant general and named the commander in chief of all Allied Air Forces in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. He became the commanding general of the US Air Forces in Europe in May 1945. He returned to the United States in April 1946 where he was assigned at the commanding general of Air Training Command at Barksdale Field (now Barksdale Air Force Base), Louisiana. In October 1948, he returned to Europe as the commanding general of US Air Forces in Europe and in March 1950, he was designated commander in chief of US Air Forces in Europe. In October 1951, he was assigned to Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, as the commander in chief of Tactical Air Command. He was promoted to the rank of general on 29 October 1951 and retired on March 31, 1954, with 37 years of active and reserve military service in the Army and Air Force. Among his decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, and the Air Medal. On June 8, 1957, Clovis Air Force Base, New Mexico, was renamed Cannon Air Force Base in his honor.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bill Heneage
  • Added: 13 Jul 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6603071
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Kenneth Cannon (9 Mar 1892–12 Jan 1955), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6603071, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .