William Porter Farnsworth – Major General, United States Air Force

Courtesy of the United States Air Force

Retired September 1, 1963. Died August 1, 1989

William Porter Farnsworth was born in Montclair, New Jersey, in 1901. He graduated from Dartmouth College with a bachelor of science degree in political science in 1926, and received his bachelor of laws degree from Columbia University Law School in 1933.

Following his graduation from law school he accepted an appointment with the National Recovery Administration. Starting in the legal division he later transferred to the administrative side and, at the time of leaving NRA, was deputy administrator. He transferred to the Works Progress Administration first as administrative officer of the Federal Theater Project and later as deputy national administrator. He left this position in September of 1937 to take up the practice of law as a member of the firm of Wittenberg, Carrington and Farnsworth until after the outbreak of World War II.

Ordered to active duty in January of 1943, General Farnsworth served in the Materiel Command of the Army Air Corps. On release from active duty June 22, 1946 as a Colonel, Air Corps he returned to private practice with his law firm.

Recalled to active duty in March 1948, General Farnsworth was executive to the director of budget, Office of the Comptroller, at Air Force headquarters. From September to December 1949 he attended the Harvard Business School, completed the Advanced Management Course, and was reassigned to the Office of the Comptroller as assistant auditor general.

Joining the Air Materiel Command in March 1951, General Farnsworth assumed command of the Northeastern Air Procurement District at Boston, Mass. It was here he received his promotion to brigadier general. Moving to Air Materiel Command Headquarters at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, in September 1952, he was chief of the Quality Control Division, becoming chief of the Procurement Division the following April.

Transferred to the Office of the Secretary of Defense in Washington, D.C., in July 1954, General Farnsworth was assistant staff director, Purchasing and Contracting Policies, in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Supply and Logistics, and subsequently, staff director for inspection and quality control. On September 1, 1955, he was recalled to the Air Force as the Auditor General.

General Farnsworth is a member of the Bar of the State of New York, Federal Court, Tax Court and Supreme Court of the United States. He is also a member of the Federal Bar Association and of Beta Alpha Psi (Accounting Fraternity).

Dartmouth College, bachelor of science, 1926
Columbia University, School of Law, bachelor of laws, 1933

Lieutenant Colonel June 3, 1954
Colonel January 8, 1946
Brigadier General September 5, 1952
Major General October 24, 1956

Legion of Merit

1. Feb 1943 to Apr 1943 – Officers Training School, Miami Beach, Florida
2. Apr 1943 to Jun 1943 – Contract renegotiator, Eastern Air Procurement District, New York
3. Jun 1943 to Nov 1944 – Army Air Forces area representative, New England Area, Boston, Massachusetts
4. Nov 1944 to Jun 1946 – Eastern Procurement District, readjustment executive, Deputy for Supply, Deputy Commander
5. Mar 1948 to Aug 1949 – executive, Directorate of Budget
6. Sep 1949 to Dec 1949 – student, Harvard Business School
7. Dec 1949 to Mar 1951, assistant auditor general, Headquarters U.S. Air Force
8. Mar 1951 to Sep 1952, commander, Northeastern Air Procurement District, Boston, Massachusetts
9. Sep 1952 to Apr 1953, chief, quality control, Headquarters AMC
10. Apr 1953 to Jun 1954 – chief, Procurement Division, AMC
11. Jul 1954 to Nov 1954 – assistant staff director purchasing and contracting policy, Office of the Secretary of Defense
12. Nov 1954 to Aug 1955 – staff director, Quality Control, Office of the Secretary of Defense
13. Sep 1955 to retirement – the Auditor General, Headquarters U.S. Air Force


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