William T. McGinness – Lieutenant Colonel, United States Air Force


McGINNESS, WILLIAM T., Lieutenant Colonel, United States Air Force (retired)

Died January 13, 2003.

Born in Cherryvale, Kansas on November 19, 1925, the son of the late Mayor and State Legislator Charles S. and Frances C. McGinness, Bill graduated high school in 1943, Valedictorian of his CHS class. He attended Wentworth Military Academy for one year, before entering the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.

Commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force upon graduation in 1948, Bill completed flight training in T-6 and B-25 aircraft in Texas and Louisiana before flying to Washington,D.C. where he and Catherine were married on October 6, 1949 in the Fort Myer Chapel, Virginia.

Assigned to Smyrna Air Force Base in Tennessee., Bill flew his Troop Carrier plane a C-119 to Korea to drop paratroopers for ten months during the Korean War.

Upon returning to the U.S., he earned his Masters Degree in Aeronautical Engineering at Purdue University in 1952 and began teaching Air Operations in Naval Warfare and Meteorology at the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland.

Bill’s next assignment in 1955 was as Chief, Structures ranch, Aeronautics & Propulsion Division, Air Research & Development Command, Baltimore, Maryland, and at AF Systems Command, Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. Additional duty included being selected as the USAF representative to the subcommittee for Aircraft Structures of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA, forerunner of NASA). During this assignment, he was loaned to the National Academy of Science at Woods Hole, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, as Liaison Officer for a USAF long range study.

In 1959 he became qualified as a jet pilot at Randolph AFB, San Antonio, Texas. In 1960 he completed Command and Staff School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama before being assigned to the Pentagon in Research and Development Programs. Bill attended the Defense Intelligence School and Defense Language School in 1965, preparing him for his next assignment as Assistant Air Attache, U.S. Embassy, Paris, France where he planned, organized and controlled interagency intelligence collection operations and served as pilot of the Ambassador’s aircraft. His efforts to establish harmonious relationships between counterparts in the French Air Force were rewarded by admission to the French Legion of Honor.

An Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America, he served as Assistant Boy Scout Commissioner for France, while in Europe.

Retiring from the Air Force in 1969, Bill moved to Dallas, Texas, to become a member of the Board of Directors and Vice President of Manufacturing of Liquid Paper Corporation. During his tenure, he also served as Chairman of the Board, President and CEO,Liquid Paper Ltd, Toronto, Canada. After Liquid Paper Corp. was sold in 1979, Bill worked for Bunker Sales and Marketing / ESCO for nearly 20 years. Bill was a member of Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honor Society; Alpha Gamma Rho, the Aeronautical Engineering Honor Society; Phi Theta Kappa, the Scholastic Honor Society; the West Point Society of North Texas, the Cherryvale Kansas Masonic Lodge,Knights Templar; Royal Arch Masons, and the Army-Navy Country Club, Arlington, Virginia.

An active member of First Church of Christ Scientist, Mount Vernon, Virginia; Fifth Church of Christ Scientist, Dallas, Texas, andthe First Church of Christ Scientist, Boston, Massachusetts. Bill served his church as a member of the Board of Trustees, First Reader, Treasurer, Sunday School teacher and Sunday School Superintendent as well as many other church committees. A friend recently described Bill as “an example of flawless character, integrity, strength and kindness.” He had a heart big enough to embrace the whole world.

Preceded in death by his sons William T. Jr. and Charles R., Bill is survived by his wife Catherine R.; his son Allen R., daughter-in-law Jill L., granddaughters Teryn R. and Mackensie T. of Dallas; brother Charles C. McGinness of Joplin, Missouri, and sister Constance P. Davis of Green Valley, Arizona.

Services and military interment will be held at the Arlington National Cemetery Chapel, Washington. D.C. on Friday March 14, 2003 at 11 a.m. Flowers may be sent or memorials can be made to First Church of Christ Scientist, Mt. Vernon, VA, or to the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York.

Read our general and most popular articles

Leave a Comment