11 November, 1911 – 13 December, 2004
John B. Cary was born in Emporia, Kansas. He graduated from Emporia High School in 1927. From there, he attend Kansas State Teachers College from 1927-1930 and went on to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy in 1934 as a Distinguished Cadet. He began his illustrious military career in 1935.
During WWII, Lt Col Cary served in the War Department as an exchange officer with the British Joint Planning Staff in London. He was a member of a team which presented Admiral Mountbatten’s plans to the U.S. and British Chiefs of Staff, to the U.S. President and British Prime Minister. From August 1944 to December 1945, Colonel Cary provided staff support to the War Department members of the State-War-Navy-Coordinating Committee (forerunner of the present National Security Council). He also participated as a military planner in the Malta, Yalta, and Potsdam Conferences.
From 1945 – December 1948, Colonel Cary was the Assistant Chief of Staff, Plans, and Air Defense Command. He was a member of the “Vandenburg Committee” which established the basic framework for the Air Staff, the field organization of the USAF. Colonel Cary wrote the first post-war basic Air Force war plan and participated in planning for and the establishment of NATO from January 1948 – August 1949.
Brigadier General Cary was the Assistant Chief of Staff, Plans for the U.S. Air Forces in Europe in Wiesbaden, Germany. While working for General Norstad, he was responsible for all plans and basic policies of USAFE Brig Gen Cary participated in the establishment of USAFE as a major air command and SHAPE and its subordinate Allied Air Forces. Appointed by General Eisenhower, he served as a member of a tri-Service committee, which resulted in a complete re-organization of U.S. military activities in Europe. From March 1952 to December 1953 he was the Director of Operations, SHAPE.
From February 1954 to June 1956, Brig Gen Cary was Commander, 35th Air Division and 35th Joint Air Defense Division in Marietta, GA where he was responsible for the air defense of the Southeastern U.S. In July, 1956, Major General Cary became the Director of Plans, USAF. He was the Senior U.S. member of a U.S./Canadian committee, which resulted in the formation of the North American Air Defense Command. Major General Cary’s last assignment was as Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations, Pacific Air Forces at Hickam AFB, Hawaii where he was responsible for all activities of the Pacific Air Forces. He retired June 30, 1961.
He married Theresa Russo on 22 September, 1951 in Wiesbaden, Germany.