Military pays tribute to World War II bomber pilot
by Technical Sergeant Cohen A. Young, USAF
A World War II bomber pilot was laid to rest with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on Aug 11, 2006.
Retired Major General Jack I. Posner was one of the last remaining bomber pilots from World War II.
His burial site is in a direct line of sight of the new Air Force Memorial. The general's son, Col. John D. Posner, said that his father would have appreciated the view. The procession to General Posner's final resting spot included an Army caisson, the U.S. Air Force Band and Honor Guard, and family and friends.
“My dad spent upwards of almost 37 years of his life in uniform,” Colonel Posner said. “Even when he retired, he spent the remainder of his life as a devoted fan and advocate for the United States Air Force.
“For (the Air Force) to give him this send-off with full military honors is a tribute and a thanks for a job well done,” he said.
General Posner enlisted in the Army Air Corps in World War II and received his pilot wings and commission in June 1944. He flew in 18 combat missions with the 92nd Bombardment Group in England. After the war he went back to his civilian life, but was reactivated during the Korean War. He retired in March 1978.
Source: U.S. Air Force
MAJOR GENERAL JACK I. POSNER
Retired March 1, 1978. Died July 14, 2006.
Major General Jack I. Posner was director of manpower and organization in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Programs and Resources, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.
General Posner was born in 1923, in New York, New York, where he graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School in June 1940. He earned his bachelor of business administration degree from the College of the City of New York in 1948; bachelor of laws degree from New York Law School in 1951; master of arts degree in public law and government from Columbia University, N.Y., in 1955; and master of science in business administration from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., in 1969.
He enlisted in the Army Air Corps during World War II and received his pilot wings and commission as a second lieutenant in June 1944. After B-17 transition training, he was assigned with his crew to the 92d Bombardment Group in England and flew 18 combat missions as a B-17 aircraft commander in the European theater of operations. Soon after V-E Day he moved to Istres, France, and piloted B-17 special missions and airlifted home-bound military personnel to embarkation points in North Africa. In March 1946 General Posner returned to civilian life, was associated until 1950 with Dun and Bradstreet, Inc., New York City, continued his education during evenings, and was a member of the Reserve.
He was recalled to active duty in August 1950, during the Korean War, and served as chief of Airman Assignments for Headquarters Continental Air Command, Mitchel Air Force Base, New York. In August 1951 he began a four-year assignment with the Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps at Columbia University, where he served on the faculty of Columbia College and the Columbia School of Engineering as assistant professor of air science and tactics.
General Posner was transferred overseas in August 1955 and served in Libya as an air operations officer with Detachment 2 of the 5th Tow Target Squadron, equipped with the B-29 aircraft. He later went to Germany, where he was assistant chief and then chief of Personnel Actions Division, deputy chief of staff, Personnel, Headquarters 12th Air Force. From November 1957 to September 1959, he served as chief of Hazardous Duty Branch, and later chief of Projects Branch, Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel, U.S. Air Forces in Europe. He next attended the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., and graduated in June 1960.
He then was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force as a personnel staff officer in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel. From July 1964 to January 1966, he was chief of Personnel Plans Division at Headquarters Air Force Systems Command, Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland.
In 1965 General Posner was designated as Department of Defense representative to the President's Cabinet Committee on Federal Staff Retirement Systems and served until submission of the President's Report to Congress and termination of the committee in 1966. He was assigned in February 1966 to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower and Reserve Affairs), where he became director of Legislative Programs.
From August 1968 to June 1969, General Posner attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort McNair, Washington, D.C. Following graduation, he was sent to the Republic of Vietnam in August 1969 as senior U.S. Air Force personnel advisor to the Vietnamese Air Force.
In September 1970 General Posner returned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force and was assigned to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Programs and Resources, in the Directorate of Manpower and organization, becoming Deputy Director in April 1972, and Director on July 1, 1974.
He is a command pilot. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and the Republic of Vietnam Air Force Distinguished Service Order, 2d Class.
He was promoted to the grade of major general on Feb. 6, 1976, with date of rank June 12, 1973.
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard