Jack Norman Donohew – Major General, United States Air Force

Courtesy of the United States Air Force:


Retired April 30, 1972, Died May 14, 1987

Major General Jack Norman Donohew was commandant of Air University's Air War College and vice commander of Air University. In this dual position he bore a large share of the responsibility for the professional education of the Air Force officer corps, especially the preparation of senior officers for high command and staff duty through the development of sound understanding of military strategy in support of national security policy.

General Donohew was born in Slater, Missouri, in 1911. He graduated from Slater High School in 1929 and from the University of Missouri in 1933 with a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering. He then received a congressional appointment to the U.S. Military Academy and in 1937 graduated sixth in a class of 298.

His first assignment was as a student in the flying school at Randolph Field, Texas, and in 1938 received his pilot wings at Kelly Field, Texas. General Donohew was then assigned to the 30th Bombardment Squadron at March Field, California, with duty as armament officer and pilot. In July 1940 he was transferred to the 73d Bombardment Squadron at McChord Field, Washington, He assumed command of the squadron the following January and in March 1941 took the unit to Elmendorf Field, Alaska.

In January 1942 General Donohew was assigned as executive officer and operations officer of the 28th Composite Bombardment Group, Elmendorf Field, Alaska. The following July he became chief of staff, XI Provisional Bombardment Command in the Aleutian Islands where, in March 1943, he assumed command of the 28th Composite Group. Two months later he returned to the United States for assignment as deputy
commander of the 41st Bombardment Wing, Hammer Field, California. Between July 1943 and April 1944 he attended the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island; the Army Air Forces School of Applied Tactics, Orlando, Florida; and the Army Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

General Donohew's next assignment was with the Operations and Plans Division, A-5, of Headquarters Army Air Forces in Washington, D.C. Later, from December 1944 to December 1945, he served on the Joint War Plans Committee of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In January 1946 he was transferred to Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, where he served on the staff and faculty of Air Command and Staff College until August 1949 when he was selected for attendance at the Air War College. Upon graduation in July 1950 he was transferred to Tokyo, Japan, serving until the following December as
director of air targets under the Deputy for Intelligence, Headquarters Far East Air Forces. He then transferred to the Thirteenth Air Force at Clark Air Base in the Philippines as deputy for comptroller and served in that capacity until January 1952 when he was named base commander at Clark.

General Donohew returned to the United States in June 1953 to attend the National War College in Washington, D.C. Upon graduation, in June 1954, he was assigned to the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, at Headquarters U.S. Air Force, as chief of the Programming Division. In July 1956 he was named deputy assistant for programming, later redesignated as deputy director of programs, Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Programs. He was assigned as director, Joint Programs in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in January 1959.

He returned to Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, in August 1961 to become commandant of Air Command and Staff College and served in that capacity until June 1963. During the assignment, he received a master of arts degree in international affairs through The George Washington University resident program.

General Donohew was transferred in June 1963 to the U.S. Southern Command, Quarry Heights, Canal Zone, where he served as chief of staff until August 1966. In that assignment he acted as principal assistant and adviser to the commander-in-chief and supervised and directed the work of the joint staff.

Following that tour of duty he was assigned in September 1966 as director of the Inter-American Defense College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C. He assumed his position as commandant of Air War College in September 1967.

A command pilot, General Donohew's awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit with four oak leaf clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Air Medal.

Kenyon E Donohew


My father, Major General Jack N Donohew, is buried in Arlington. He graduated from West Point in 1937. Died in May 1987.

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