McKean County & Vicinity
Highest Ranking Officers

Major General Clayton L. Bissell
1896 - 1973

Born: Kane, PA
Died: Murfreesboro, TN

Bissell graduated from Valparaiso University, Indiana, in 1917 with a degree of doctor of laws. He enlisted in the Aviation Section, Signal Reserve, August 15, 1917, and was commissioned a first lieutenant in the Aviation Section, Signal Reserve, January 12, 1918. He began his aviation training at Mohawk, Canada, in September 1917, and was subsequently stationed at Taliaferro Field, Texas, from November 1917 to January 1918. He sailed for England with the 22nd Aero Squadron, and received additional flying training at Salisbury Plain in England and aerial gunnery training in Scotland. He served in the Overseas Ferry Service before he was ordered to duty at the front with the 148th Aero Squadron in July 1918. He served with that unit and with the 41st Aero Squadron until the armistice. He was credited officially with destroying five enemy planes and driving one down out of control; these six victories qualify him as an "ACE." He commanded the 639th Aero Squadron with the American Forces in Germany until May 1919, when he returned to the United States.

His first assignment in the United States was Kelly Field, Texas, where he organized and commanded the 27th Aero Squadron. He was promoted to captain (temporary) March 11, 1919. In January 1920, he became education and recreation officer at Kelly Field, and commanded the Air Service Group He was ordered to Washington, D.C., in June 1920, for service as chief of the Tactical Operations Section in the office of Air Service. He was commissioned a first lieutenant in the Air Service, Regular Army, July 1, 1920. In December 1920, he went to Langley Field, Virginia, where he graduated from the Air Service Field Officers School in June 1921. He then remained at Langley Field as flight commander of the 14th Bomb Squadron, and later became an instructor in the Air Corps Tactical School In November 1921, he was ordered to Washington for duty in the office of the Chief of the Air Service, as assistant to Brigadier General William Mitchell, serving in that capacity for four years.
In January 1924, he was detailed as advanced agent for the round-the-world flight in British Columbia, Alaska, the Aleutians, Greenland, Labrador, Newfoundland and the Maritime Provinces. On return to Washington, he was transferred to Langley Field in December 1924 to serve as secretary of the Air Service Board. Between October and December 1925, he served as assistant defense counsel for Mitchell during his court martial, under the direction of lead counsel Congressman Frank R. Reid He was an instructor at the Air Corps Tactical School at Langley Field, from September 1926 to August 1931, when he was assigned to the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, as a student. He graduated in June 1933, and two months later was assigned to the Army War College at Washington, D.C.
He graduated in June 1934 and then entered the Chemical Warfare School at Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland. In July 1934, completing the course there a month later In October 1934, he was stationed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, as intelligence and operations officer of the 18th Pursuit Group, becoming commanding officer in October 1937. In July 1938, he went to the Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island, and graduated in 1939. In July 1939, he became a member of the War Plans Division of the War Department General Staff at Washington, remaining on this duty until the beginning of World War II.

In January 1942, he was assigned as principal aviation officer on Major General Stilwell's staff in China; in August 1942 he was made commanding general of the 10th Air Force in India and Burma. He returned to the United States in August 1943 A month later he became assistant chief of air staff for intelligence at Air Force Headquarters in Washington. In January 1944, he was assigned to the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence on the War Department General Staff, and served in that capacity during the last two years of World War II. He was the Army member of Joint Security Control and on the Joint Intelligence Committee and the U.S. Army member of the Combined Intelligence Committee. He also served as the Army head of psychological warfare and as head of the War Department historical program.

In May 1946, he became military attache to Great Britain, and in October 1948, returned to the United States, where he was assigned to the officers' pool at Bolling Air Force Base, D.C The following month he was transferred to Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, with station at Wiesbaden, Germany, where he remained until he returned to the United States in April 1950, for an assignment to Air Force headquarters in Washington, D.C. He retired in 1950 at the rank of Major General.

Major General Clayton Bissell ordered the destruction of information that was evidence of the Soviet Union's role in the massacre of over 21,000 Polish military officers and civilians in the "Katyn Massacre." During the 1951-52 investigation Bissell defended his action before the United States Congress, contending that it was not in the US interest to embarrass an ally whose forces were still needed to defeat Japan.

Buried: Section 5, Site 68, Arlington National Cemetery


Major General Fay R. Upthegrove
1905 - 1992

Born: Port Allegany, PA
Died: Olean, NY

Upthegrove was raised in Rew and graduated from Bradford High School and later the U.S. Military Academy on June 14, 1927 and was commissioned a second lieutenant of Infantry. That fall General Upthegrove entered Primary Flying School at Brooks Field Texas and graduated from Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, Texas in October 1928. He then became engineering officer of the 15th Observation Squadron at Selfridge Field, Mich., and in January 1929 was transferred to the Air Force.

Entering the Chemical Warfare School at Edgewood Arsenal, Md., a month later, he graduated that April and returned to the 15th Observation Squadron. Moving to March Field, Calif., in June 1930, General Upthegrove was an instructor at the Primary Flying School. In October 1931 he was named supply officer of the Primary Flying school at Randolph Field, Texas, and the following March was appointed adjutant of the 47th School Squadron there. Going to Luke Field, Hawaii, in November 1934, General Upthegrove was named flight commander of the Fourth Observation Squadron the following January and assumed command in August 1936. Transferred to Mitchel Field, N.Y., he was assigned duty as operations and intelligence officer of the 99th Bomb Squadron. Entering the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Ala., in May 1939, he graduated that August and returned to Mitchel Field as commander of the 99th Bomb squadron.

Ordered to Langley Field, Va., in December 1940, General Upthegrove became materiel officer of the 22nd Bomb Group, and a month later its executive and operations officer, moving with the bomb group to Jackson Field Miss., several months later. After serving in the Southwest Pacific area from February to April 1942, he assumed command of the 305th Bomb Group at Salt Lake City, Utah. Two months later he took command of the 99th Bomb Group at Davis-Monthan Field, Ariz., taking it to Gowen Field, Idaho, Sioux City, Iowa, and then to North Africa in January 1943. A year later he assumed command of the 304th Bomb Wing, 15th Air Force, in Italy. Returning to the United States in August 1945, General Upthegrove assumed command of the 76th Flying Training Wing at Smyrna Field, Tenn., and that December took command of the 30th Flying Training Wing at Turner Field, Ga.

In May 1946 he was designated commanding general of Chanute Field, Ill. Transferred to U.S. Air Forces in Europe at Wiesbaden, Germany, in November 1948, the following month he assumed command of the 7l00th Headquarters Command Wing, USAFE. Joining the Strategic Air Command in June 1951, General Upthegrove became deputy commander of the Second Air Force at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., becoming commander of the Fourth Air Division there in October 1952. The following January he assumed command of the 20th Air Force, Far East Air Forces on Okinawa, and on March 1, 1955, assumed command of the 313th Air Division, FEAF. Transferring to the Air Training Command on Sept. 1, 1955, General Upthegrove assumed command of the 3380th Technical Training Wing at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. Upthegrove retired from the Air Force on July 31, 1957

Buried: St. Bonaventure Cemetery, Allegany, NY

General Joseph T. McNarney
1893 - 1972

Born: Emporium, PA
Died: La Jolla, CA

Joseph Taggart McNarney graduated from the United States Military Academy in June 1915 (as part of "the class the stars fell on") and was commissioned a second lieutenant of Infantry. McNarney served with the 21st Infantry at Vancouver Barracks, Washington, and with the 37th Infantry at Yuma, Arizona. In July 1916 he became a first lieutenant and began flight training at San Diego, California. One year later he was rated a junior military aviator and transferred to the Signal Corps Aviation Section. He became an instructor in meteorology and radio telegraphy and was promoted to captain in May 1917.

McNarney went to France in 1917 and became an assistant to the 1st Corps Aeronautical School. He joined Headquarters Air Service in January 1918. McNarney helped direct the 2d Corps School and led flights of the 1st Aero Squadron in the Toul sector. He was promoted to major in June 1918. During the Chateau Thierry offensive he was commanding officer of the 1st Corps Observation Group, chief of Air Service of the 3d Corps, and on the staff of the chief of Air Service of the 1st Army. He commanded the Air Corps during the St. Mihiel offensive and the 5th Corps during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. In February 1919 he became commanding officer of the 2d Army's Observation Group and was promoted to lieutenant colonel in May 1919. While on duty at American Expeditionary Force Headquarters he Paris, McNarney wrote a manual on air observation.
He returned to the United States in October 1919 to take charge of the flying school at Gerstner Field, Louisiana. In September 1920 he reverted back to his grade of captain. He went to Langley Field, Virginia, in November remaining there five years as student and instructor in what became the Air Corps Tactical School. McNarney graduated with honors from the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and spent the next three years in intelligence functions in the Air Section of the War Department General Staff. In August 1930 he completed the Army War College course and went to March Field, California, as commanding officer of the Primary Flying School, moving with it to Randolph Field, Texas. He also served as commanding officer of the 7th Bomb Group and executive officer of the 1st Bomb Wing at March Field. McNarney was an instructor at the Army War College in Washington from August 1933 to March 1935, when he went to Langley Field, Virginia, as G-4, helping in the organization of the new General Headquarters Air Force. In July 1938 he was assigned to Hamilton Field, California, and in less than a year returned to Washington to serve in the War Plans Division of the War Department General Staff. McNarney became a member of the Joint Army-Navy Planning Committee in June 1939. The following March he was promoted to colonel after going up the promotion ladder the second time. In May he was appointed to the Canada-United States Permanent Defense Board. He became a brigadier general in April 1941. One month later he was assigned as chief of staff of a special Army observer group in London, serving until December 1941.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor he served on the Roberts Commission which investigated the Army and Navy commanders in Hawaii. In January 1942 McNarney was promoted to major general and appointed to the War Department Reorganization Board. He became deputy chief of staff of the Army in March with promotion to lieutenant general in June. While deputy chief of staff, McNarney developed the plan of anti-submarine warfare and instructed General Arnold to organize a new bomber command, the Army Air Forces Antisubmarine Command. McNarney ordered the bombers to attack hostile submarines "wherever they may be operating." This offensive measure eventually destroyed the German hold on sea lanes. McNarney was high among the suggested men who might serve as supreme commander of the Pacific War, but the position was not created, and McNarney not appointed. In October 1942 when United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) Chief of Staff Henry H. Arnold proposed to Army Chief of Staff George Marshall that an Army man be named supreme commander for the whole Allied effort in the Pacific, suggesting Douglas MacArthur, McNarney or Lesley McNair for the position, Marshall without comment passed the request to his staff for analysis. There, Albert Wedemeyer and St. Clair Streett examined the problem. Wedemeyer, an Army officer, thought the supreme commander should be an airman; either Arnold or McNarney. Streett, too, was in favor of one supreme commander but he recognized the political challenges-he projected that the president would have to make the appointment, not a committee of military men.
For supreme commander in the Pacific, Streett suggested McNarney or Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, depending on whether an air or a naval strategy was considered most important. About MacArthur, Streett wrote that "at the risk of being considered naive and just plain country-boy dumb," he thought that MacArthur would have to be removed from the Pacific in order for there to be any sound cooperation in the theater. Streett suggested MacArthur be appointed ambassador to "Russia" or some similar position of high stature but low military influence. Of this analysis work, nothing was enacted; Marshall did not bring the problem and its suggested solutions to either the Navy or the president. McNarney went to Europe as Deputy Supreme Allied Commander in the Mediterranean Theater and commanding general of the U.S. Army Forces, Mediterranean Theater, in October 1944. He was promoted to full general in March 1945 and in September became acting supreme allied commander of the Mediterranean Theater. He became commanding general of the U.S. Forces in the European Theater and commander in chief, U.S. Forces of Occupation in Germany in November.
General McNarney returned to the United States as senior member of the United Nations Military Staff Committee in New York City in March 1947. He became commanding general of Air Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio in October. He left Air Materiel Command to become chief of the Department of Defense's Management Committee in September 1949. McNarney retired on January 31, 1952 and held executive positions with General Dynamics, and later served on the Draper Committee. He died February 1, 1972 in La Jolla, California.

Buried: Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, CA

Brigadier General Ronald C. Brock
1895 - 1984

Born: Coudersport, PA
Died: Buffalo, NY

1940 - 1943 Commanding Officer 106th Field Artillery Regiment
1943 - 1945 Commanding Officer Artillery 65th Division

Buried: Williamsville Cemetery, Williamsville, NY

Brigadier General Hume Peabody
1893 - 1984

Born: Shinglehouse, PA

Following graduation from the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., he was appointed a second lieutenant of Cavalry on June 12, 1915. He first was assigned to the 3rd Cavalry at Brownsville, Texas, on border patrol duty. He had a skirmish with bandits at Tahuachal, and at Villa Verd Ranges, Mexico, in June 1916. He was stationed at Brownsville until March 1917, then moved to Fort Sam Houston, Texas, where he remained until 1917. He was detailed in the Flying School, San Diego, Calif., thereafter until December 1917, and following graduation remained on duty at that station until February 1918.
He then moved to Ellington Field, Texas, until March 1918, and to Eberts Field, Ark., until the following May. He was at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, Mass., until September 1918, when he was assigned to Washington, D.C., with the Training Section of the Air Service for one month. He sailed for France for duty with the American Expeditionary Forces in October 1918. Returning to the United 5tatos in December 1918, he was assigned to March Field, Calif., until June 1922. For the next five months he served at Luke Field, Hawaii, then returned to the United States for duty at Crissy Field, Calif., until May 1923. For the next five years he was assigned as Professor of Mi1itary Science and Tactics at the University of California, Berkeley, Calif. He then enrolled in the Air Corps Tactical School, Langley Field, Va., from which he graduated in June 1929. He enrolled in the Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and graduated from the two-year course In June 1931.
He then was assigned as assistant commandant of the Air Corps Tactical School, Maxwell Field, Ala., and remained in this capacity until July 1934, when he enrolled at the Army War College, Washington D.C. Following graduation in June 1935 he was assigned to the 13th Composite Wing Fort Shafter, Hawaii. He returned to the United States in September 1937, then became a member of the Air Corps Board at Maxwell Field, Ala., serving until November 1938. His next assignment was as assistant to the chief of the Plans Division in the Office of the Air Corps Washington, D.C. In September 1939 he became G-4, General Headquarters Air Force at Langley Field, Va., and transferred to Bolling Field, D.C., in June l94l.
In September 1941 he was assigned to the 2nd Air Support Command. He became intelligence officer, A-2, of the Air Staff in Washington, D.C., in 1942, and in June of that same year was designated director, War Organization and Movement, Headquarters Army Air Forces, Washington, D.C. He served in this capacity until the following November when he became commandant, Air Forces School of Applied Tactics, Orlando, F1a. On Nov. 1, 1943, the Army Air Forces School of Applied Tactics was redesignated Army Air Forces Tactical Center. In March 1945 he was announced as commanding general of the Army Air Forces Eastern Flying Training Command with station at Maxwell Field, Ala. Peabody retired on October 31, 1946.

Buried: Arlington National Cemetery