John N. Ewbank – Major General, United States Air Force


Retired July 1, 1972.


Major General John N. Ewbank was Assistant to the Commander in Chief, U.S. Readiness Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

General Ewbank was born in 1912, in St. Paul, Minnesota. He attended St. Olaf College and the University of Minnesota. In 1939 he attended flying school as an aviation cadet at Randolph and Kelly fields, Texas, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in May 1940.

In August 1941 he became a Flight Commander in the 22d Bombardment Group at Langley Field, Vrginia. During World War II, he went with the group to Australia and New Guinea and flew on B-26 strikes against Japanese positions in that area. He participated in the Battle of the Coral Sea, led air raids against the strongholds of Rabaul and Lea, and flew close support missions for Allied ground forces in the battle for Burma.

He returned to the United States in 1943 and served in a variety of operational assignments with Third Air Force units at Barksdale Field, Louisiana; Morris Field, North Carolina., and Greenville, South Carolina. In November 1945 he was appointed Assistant Director of Training, Ground Training Section, Randolph Field, Texas, and in August 1946 he was selected to attend the first class of the Air Command and Staff School of the newly organized Air University at Maxwell Field, Alabama. After graduation in July 1947, he was assigned as Chief of the Air Section and Senior Air Force Instructor at the Army Ground General School, Fort Riley, Kansas.

During the Korean War in August 1950, General Ewbank was assigned as commander at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Later he was appointed Deputy Commander of the 19th Bombardment Wing, a B-29 organization which flew combat missions, staging through Okinawa.

In July 1952 General Ewbank became a student at the National War College, Washington, D.C. After graduation a year later, he went to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, where he had various assignments in the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, Installations, including Deputy Director and then Director of Real Property.

In July 1957 he was assigned to U.S. Air Forces in Europe as Commander of the 38th Bombardment Wing, a B-57 jet tactical bomber organization based at Laon Air Base, France. With inactivation of the wing a year later, he was assigned to Third Air Force headquarters in England as Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations.

He was assigned in November 1959 as commander of the 4520th Combat Crew Training Wing and the Fighter Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. General Ewbank was transferred to Tactical Air Command Headquarters at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, in August 1961, where he served successively as Inspector General, Assistant Deputy for Operations, and Deputy for Operations.

In July 1965 General Ewbank went to the Republic of Vietnam to assume duties at Headquarters U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam, as Assistant Chief of Staff for Plans. The following year he was appointed Chief of Staff to General Westmoreland, then MACV Commander in Chief. In August 1967 he returned to the United States as Director of the Combat Operations Center at Headquarters North American Air Defense Command/Continental Air Defense Command, at Ent Air Force Base, Colorado. He assumed duties as Chief of Staff, Aerospace Defense Command in February 1968.

General Ewbank joined U.S. Strike Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, in August 1969 as Director of Military Assistance. When the command was redesignated as U.S. Readiness Command in January 1972, he became Assistant to the Commander in Chief.

A Command Pilot, General Ewbank includes among his military decorations and awards the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem with oak leaf cluster, and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon which was awarded to the 38th Bombardment Wing while it was under his command.

He was promoted to the temporary grade of Major General effective February 27, 1964, with date of rank July 1, 1959.

EWBANK, Major General John N. 96, of Tampa, passed away on March 3rd, 2009, of natural causes.

Born on September 5, 1912 in St. Paul, Minnesota to Dr. J.N. Ewbank and Anna Fisher Ewbank, he graduated from Blooming Prairie High School, Minnesota in 1931. He then attended St. Olaf College and the University of Minnesota.

He married Hazel Virginia Eppard October 17, 1941 at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia.

As a combat veteran of World War II, he participated in the Battle of Coral Sea and the New Guinea campaign, while being promoted to command the 2nd Squadron, 22nd Bomb Group in 1942.

His staff positions include: Deputy Chief of Staff, Third Air Force (1958); Chief of Staff, CONAD (1968); Assistant to the Commander in Chief, U.S. Readiness Command (1972); but perhaps most notably as General Westmoreland's Chief of Staff during the Vietnam War (1966).

His command positions include: Commander, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam (1950); Deputy Commander, 19th Bomb Wing (1951); Commander, 38th Bomb Wing (1957); Commander, 4520th Combat Training Wing (1959); Director, Combat Operations Center, NORAD (1967).

Included among his awards are the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with Two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Distinguished Unit Citation with One Oak Leaf Cluster and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award.

He was a member of Bayside Community Church; Christian Business Men, Tampa Yacht Club,and after retiring from the military, Vice-President of Sun Trust Bank.

General Ewbank is survived by his wife of 67 years, Hazel; daughter, Johnnie Anne Carr and husband, Dean; and daughter, Susan Lee Busch and husband, Fred; grandchildren, Jeff Carr, Darren Carr, Troy Carr, Summer Thibeault, Jonathan Busch, Jordan Busch, Blaire Busch; and twelve great grandchilren.

General Ewbank will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors at 9:00 A. M. on Thursday, 9 April 2009

Read our general and most popular articles

Leave a Comment