William Fulton McKee was born at Chilhowie, Virginia, October 17, 1906. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in June 1929 and was commissioned in the Coast Artillery Corps. He was assigned to Fort Barrancas, Florida, then went to Panama for two years as battery officer in the First Coast Artillery at Fort Randolph.
He returned home to Fort MacArthur, California, as battery commander with the 63rd Coast Artillery and was promoted to First Lieutenant in November 1934. He completed a course at the Coast Artillery School at Fort Monroe, Virginia, June 1936, and went to the Philippines for assignment to the 63rd as battery commander. He came home to the Presidio at San Francisco in October 1938 as G-2 of 9th Corps Area. He was promoted to Captain in June 1939 and in October went to Puerto Rico as battery commander of the 66th Coast Artillery, eventually becoming Commanding Officer of the 66th and Executive Officer of the Caribbean Interceptor Command. He was promoted to Major in October 1941 and was assigned to the 71st Coast Arty at Fort Story, Virginia, as 1st Battalion Commanding Officer and regimental adjutant.
In January 1942 he was assigned to Headquarters, Army Air Forces, in antiaircraft functions and became Executive Officer for the Directorate of Air Defense. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in February 1942 and Colonel that Sep. In November 1943 he became Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations and promoted to Brigadier General in February 1945.
He was named Chief of Staff of the Air Transport Command in January 1946 and in August went to Paris as Commanding General of the European Division. In December 1946 he transferred to to the United States Air Force Europe as Commanding General of its Headquarters Command at Weisbaden, Germany. He returned to the U.S. in August 1947 as Assistant Vice Chief of STaff of the Air Force and promoted to Major General in February 1948. He went to AMC in June 1953 as Vice Commander. He got his third star in August 1957. On August 1, 1961, he was promoted to full General and named commander of the Air Force Logistics Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. On July 1, 1962 he moved to Washington, D.C. as Vice Chief of Staff under General Curtis LeMay and retired from active duty on July 1, 1964.
On his retirement he received a Distinguished Service Medal from President Johnson in a ceremony at the White House. On September 1, 1964 he became Assistant Administrator for Management Development at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
He served as Assistant Administrator for Management Development, NASA, 1964-65; Administrator, FAA, 1965-68; president of Schriever-McKee Associates, Arlington, Virginia, 1968-70, Schriever & McKee, Inc., Washington, D.C. , 1971-87.
He was decorated with the Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters.
Retired Air Force Gen William Fulton McKee, former head of the predecessor of the Federal Aviation Administration, died Saturday, March 29, 1987, at Wilford Hall Air Force Medical Center at the age of 80, officials said.
General McKee took over what was then called the Federal Aviation Agency in 1965 and held the post throughout President Lyndon B. Johnson's administration. General McKee began his 35-year active duty military career in the Army Air Corps, the predecessor of the Air Force. He was vice chief of staff of the Air Force at the time of his retirement in 1964. He will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, officials said. Died: Feb 28, 1987.
His wife, Gertrude Scheele McKee (May 23, 1906-October 26, 1990) is buried with hin in Section 30 of Arlington National Cemetery.
Courtesy of the United States Air Force
GENERAL WILLIAM F. MCKEE
Retired July 31, 1964, Died February 28, 1987
William Fulton McKee was born at Chilhowie, Virginia, in 1906. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Coast Artillery Corps of the Regular Army June 13, 1929.
His first assignment upon graduation was with the 13th Coast Artillery at Fort Barrancas, Florida. He then went to Fort Randolph in the Panama Canal Zone where he served as a battery officer in the First Coast Artillery. After two years service at that station, he was transferred to the 63rd Coast Artillery at Fort MacArthur, California, where he served as battery commander, assistant adjutant of the Harbor Defenses of Los Angeles, and later executive officer of the Civilian Conservation Corps in that area.
In September 1935, he became a student at the Coast Artillery School at Fort Monroe, Virginia, and upon completion of the course the following June, was assigned to Fort Mills, Corregidor, Philippine Islands; as regimental adjutant, plans training and intelligence officer, and battery commander of the 63rd Coast Artillery.
Returning to the United States in October 1938, he was assigned to the Presidio of San Francisco, California, as an assistant to G-2, Ninth Corps Area.
The following October he was again ordered to foreign duty – this time at Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico, where he became battery commander and later commanding officer of the 66th Coast Artillery, transferring with that organization to Borinquen Field, Puerto Rico. Later he became executive officer of the Caribbean Interceptor Command under Major General Follett Bradley.
In October 1941, he returned to the United States for assignment to the 71st Coast Artillery at Fort Story, Virginia, as battalion commander and regimental adjutant of the First Battalion. He later performed the same duties when his division moved to the Naval Operating Base at Norfolk, Virginia.
In January 1942 he was assigned to Headquarters Army Air Forces and was later appointed chief of the Anti-Aircraft and Airdrome Defense Section and Anti-Aircraft Artillery Division. Shortly thereafter, he became executive officer for the Directorate of Air Defense.
In November 1943, he became deputy assistant chief of Air Staff for operations, commitments and requirements, which corresponds roughly to the present Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations.
In January 1946, he was appointed chief of staff of Air Transport Command with headquarters at Washington. The following August he went to Europe as commanding general of the European Division, ATC, with station at Paris, France. In December 1946 he transferred to Headquarters U.S. Air Force in Europe at Wiesbaden, Germany, and the following month became commanding general of the Headquarters Command of USAFE at Wiesbaden.
Returning to the United States in August 1947, he was appointed Assistant Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force September 27, 1947.
He was assigned to Headquarters Air Materiel Command as Vice Commander on June 10, 1953.
On April 1, 1961 Air Materiel Command was redesignated Air Force Logistics Command.
On Aug. 1, 1961, General McKee became a four-star general and assumed the post of commander, Air Force Logistics Command.
On July 1, 1962, General McKee moved to Washington and became Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force. General McKee has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster. He was presented the first annual Distinguished Management Award of the Air Force Association on July 31, 1957.
General McKee was buried with full military honors in Section 30, Grave 215, Arlington National Cemetery.
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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.
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