John M. Cone Major – General, United States Army

Major General John M. Cone, the 8th Commander of White Sands Proving Ground/Missile Range, was born in Fort Collins, Colorado, June 26, 1914. His military career began 1 July 1932, when he enlisted as a Private, 22nd Infantry, at Oglethorpe, Georgia. He entered the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, as a cadet on 1 July 1933. On 12 June 1937 he was graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of field artillery.


He joined the 18th Field Artillery in September 1937 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Two years later he was detailed to the Ordnance Proving Ground, Maryland, in the fall of 1939, and at Langley Field, Virginia, in the spring of 1940. Assigned to the Panama Canal Department, he became Base Ordnance Officer, France Field, Canal Zone, in April 1940.

Following the outbreak of World War II, he became Ordnance Officer, XXVI Fighter Command, Albrook Field, Canal Zone, and in August 1942 was assigned as Ordnance Officer, AAF I Concentration Command, Cincinnati, Ohio. He attended the Command and General Staff School from November 1942 to February 1943. On graduation he went to the Air Service Command, Patterson Field, Ohio for duty in the Ordnance Section of that headquarters. In March 1944 he was ordered to Europe and served until June 1944 in Headquarters United States Strategic Air Forces in England. On 6 June 1944 he became Ordinance Officer, IX Tactical Air Command, remaining in that capacity throughout the operations in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany.

From October 1945 to May 1947, General Cone served in the Ordnance Section, Headquarters US Forces, European Theater, in Frankfurt, Germany. On his return to the United States in June 1947, he was assigned as Commanding Officer, Detroit Ordnance District, Detroit, Michigan. In August 1951 he was ordered to General Staff duty in Washington, DC in the office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4, and in 1952 became the Chief, Purchases Branch, Procurement Division, of that office.

Selected for attendance at the Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, General Cone served there from August 1955 to June 1956. From August 1956 to April 1958 he was on duty at Oppama Ordnance Depot, Japan, successively as Deputy for Operations, later as Commanding Officer, and ultimately in command of all Ordnance Depots in Japan. He became Ordnance Officer, US Army, Japan, stationed at Camp Zama, in April 1958 and remained there until December 1958.

Returning to the United States he was assigned as Commanding Officer, Anniston Ordnance Depot, Anniston, Alabama, from January 1959 until August 1960. He was ordered to the Office, Chief of Ordnance, Washington, DC, in August 1960, and in October 1960 was assigned to duty as Chief, Plans and Programs Division of that office. On 20 June 1962 General Cone was assigned as Director of Maintenance, Supply and Maintenance Command, Headquarters, Washington, D. C.

He became Director of Quality Assurance, Hqs, US Army Materiel Command, Washington, DC, on 1 May 1964.


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 01/26/1914
  • DATE OF DEATH: 03/30/1966

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