John Dale Ryan: Wikis

  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Dale Ryan
1915 (1915) – 1983 (aged 67–68)
John Dale Ryan.jpg
General John Dale Ryan
Place of birth Cherokee, Iowa
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Air Force
Years of service 1938–1973
Rank General
Commands held Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force
Strategic Air Command
Sixteenth Air Force
Second Air Force
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star (2)
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross (2)
Air Medal (6)
Purple Heart
Relations General Michael E. Ryan (son)

General John Dale Ryan (1915-October 27, 1983) was the seventh Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force. As chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, General Ryan served in a dual capacity. He was a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff which, as a body, acts as the principal military adviser to the president, the National Security Council, and the Secretary of Defense. In his other capacity, he was responsible to the Secretary of the Air Force for managing the vast human and materiel resources of the world's most powerful aerospace force.

Contents

Early life

The general was born in Cherokee, Iowa, in 1915. Following graduation from Cherokee Junior College in 1934, he entered the United States Military Academy from which he graduated in 1938. He next attended flying school at Randolph and Kelly fields, Texas, and received his pilot wings in 1939.

Military career

General Ryan remained at Kelly Field as a flight instructor for approximately two years. From January 1942 until August 1943, he was director of training at Midland Army Air Field, Texas, and was instrumental in establishing an advanced bombardier training school. His next assignment was as operations officer for the Second Air Force at Colorado Springs, Colorado In February 1944, he was transferred to Italy where he commanded the 2d Bombardment Group and later became operations officer for the 5th Bombardment Wing, Fifteenth Air Force. While commanding the 2d Bombardment Group he lost a finger to enemy antiaircraft fire. Later on this resulted in his nickname, sometimes used derisively, "Three fingered Jack."

He returned to the United States in April 1945, and became deputy air base commander, Midland Army Air Field, Texas. In September 1945, he was assigned to the Air Training Command at Fort Worth and Randolph Field, Texas, where he remained until April 1946, when he assumed duties with the 58th Bombardment Wing and participated in the Bikini Atoll atomic weapons tests.

From September 1946 to July 1948, he was assistant chief of staff for pilots of the 58th Bombardment Wing and then Eighth Air Force director of operations. For the next three years, he commanded the 509th Bombardment Group at Walker Air Force Base, New Mexico. Between July 1951 and June 1956, General Ryan commanded the 97th Bombardment Wing and the 810th Air Division, both at Biggs Air Force Base, Texas, and the l9th Air Division at Carswell Air Force Base, Texas.

General Ryan became director of materiel for the Strategic Air Command in June 1956, and four years later assumed command of SAC's Sixteenth Air Force in Spain. In July 1961, he was named commander of the Second Air Force at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana.

In August 1963, General Ryan was assigned to the Pentagon as inspector general for the U.S. Air Force. One year later he was named vice commander in chief of Strategic Air Command and in December 1964, became commander in chief. He was assigned as commander in chief, Pacific Air Forces, in February 1967.

The general was appointed vice chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force in August 1968, and chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force in August 1969.

One of the more controversial moves of his tenure was his disbandment of the U.S. Air Force Pipes and Drums, the only free-standing, full-time pipe band in the U.S. armed forces.

Ryan's tenure as commander of PACAF and Air Force Chief of Staff also engendered controversy when he was described as one of a group that helped destroy General Jack Lavelle's career after Lavelle gave fighter pilots permission to shoot back at bona fide threats, something previously denied them by rules of engagement. This was also related to the court-martial of USAF Colonel Jack Broughton, after Broughton attempted to protect one of his pilots who shot back at an anti-aircraft position also in apparent violation of rules of engagement. The irony is that Col Broughton had to protect the pilot from his own side, and directly from General Ryan, whose "undue command influence" later resulted in the overturning and expungement of Broughton's conviction by the USAF Board for the Correction of Military Records.

Decorations and recognitions

Presenting Distinguished Flying Cross to his son, Captain Michael E. Ryan (right), 1969.

His military decorations and awards include the Lancaster County Veterans Association of Veterans Award for excellence and military preservation; Air Force Distinguished Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters; Army Distinguished Service Medal; Silver Star with oak leaf cluster; Legion of Merit; Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster; Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters; Purple Heart; French Croix de Guerre with Palm; Chinese Order of the Cloud and Banner, 1st Class with Grand Cordon, and 2d Class; Republic of Korea National Security Merit First Class; the Vietnamese National Order of Vietnam/Commander and Gallantry Cross with Palm; Grand Cross, Royal Order of Phoenix (Greece); and Grand Cross of Aeronautical Merit (Spain).

In July 1971, General Ryan became the first foreign dignitary to receive the Golden Wings of the Philippine Air Force. Additional foreign decorations are Chilean Military Star of the Armed Forces, Class of Great Star for Military Merit; French Legion of Honor, Degree of Commander; and the Brazilian Order of Aeronautical Merit, Degree of Grand Official.

In December 1962, he joined a select group of athletes, who have been successful in their professional careers since their college football days, when he was chosen a member of the Sports Illustrated Silver Anniversary All-American team.

He received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, on May 30, 1966; and an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Akron, Ohio, on June 5, 1967.

General Ryan's son, General Michael E. Ryan, USAF, also held the position of Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force. Unlike the elder Ryan's career as bomber pilot, the younger Ryan was a fighter pilot.

References

Military offices
Preceded by
Gen. Thomas S. Power
Commander, Strategic Air Command
1964—1967
Succeeded by
Gen. Joseph J. Nazzaro
Preceded by
Gen. John P. McConnell
Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force
1969–1973
Succeeded by
Gen. George S. Brown







Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message