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Gen Barney McKinney Giles
Birth: Sep. 13, 1892
Mineola
Wood County
Texas, USA
Death: May 6, 1984
San Antonio
Bexar County
Texas, USA

US Army Air Force Lieutenant General. He is credited with helping to develop strategic bombing theory and practice, including long-range capabilities for fighter aircraft. He rose in rank to become commander of two separate US Army Air Force echelons during World War II, and the US Strategic Forces in the Pacific Theater, just after the end of World War II. Born in Mineola, Texas he attended East Texas Normal College (now Texas Agriculture and Mining University) at Commerce, Texas and taught school for three years. He then studied law at the University of Texas at Austin, Texas until World War I began in Europe. He went to Canada to see about joining the Royal Flying Corps, and in April 1917 the US became directly involved, and he joined the US Army Air Service as a flying cadet in August 1917. In April 1918 he attained the rank of 2nd lieutenant and flew with the 168th Observation Squadron in France for a year. After returning to the US, he resigned his commission in September 1919. In October 1920 he returned to the US Army and served as assistant engineering officer, first at the Aviation Repair Depot in Dallas, Texas, and eight months later at San Antonio Air Intermediate Depot. He was promoted to the rank of 1st lieutenant in April 1921, and remained at San Antonio until July 1924, when he transferred to Kelly Field (now Kelly Air Reserve Base, a part of Joint Base San Antonio) as engineer and operations officer. In July 1925 he transferred to Wright Field (now Wright-Patterson Air Force Base), Ohio and served as assistant chief at the Maintenance Branch until April 1927 and then as chief of the Maintenance Engineering Branch, Field Service Station from May 1927 until April 1928. He was then assigned to March Field (now March Air Reserve Base), California as an instructor in the Flying Department and in July 1929 became the post engineering officer there. From October 1930 until July 1934 he served as chief engineering officer at Rockwell Air Depot (now a part of Naval Air Station San Diego) in San Diego, California and was promoted to the rank of captain in January 1932. In 1934 he attended the US Army Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field (now Maxwell Air Force Base), Alabama and graduated in June 1935 and was promoted to the rank of major. He was then assigned to Langley Field (now Langley Air Force Base, a part of Joint Base Langley-Eustis) and commanded the 20th Bomb Squadron for a year and moved up to operations officer of the 2d Bomb Group there in July 1936. After graduating from the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in June 1938, he was assigned to Washington DC as chief of the Inspection Division in the Office of the Chief of US Army Air Corps. In February 1941 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel, and to colonel in January 1942, after the US entered World War II. The following March he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general. In July 1942 he went to Hamilton Field, California (now closed) where he organized and commanded the 4th Air Service Area Command. Two months later he was promoted to the rank of major general and in March 1943 he became Director of Military Requirements at Headquarters US Army Air Corps in Washington DC, and two months later he became Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Operations. In May 1943 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and the following July he was named deputy commander of the Army Air Forces. In this role, he often served as acting head of Army Air Forces because of General Henry "Hap" Arnold's prolonged illness. He actively promoted the development of long-range capabilities for fighter aircraft such as the P-38 Lightning, P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang. In April 1945 he became commanding general of the US Army Air Forces in the Pacific Theater and charged with the planning of the final B-29 Superfortress air attacks against Japan, including plans for dropping the atomic bombs. Three months later he was appointed deputy commander of US Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific under General Carl Andrew Spaatz. In September 1945 he was one of the pilots of three B-29 Superfortress aircraft in a record-breaking non-stop flight from Japan over Alaska and Canada to Chicago, then on to Washington DC. At that time, it was the longest non-stop US Army Air Forces flight, and the first non-stop flight from Japan to the US, and the bomb bay filled with fuel was the heaviest load ever lifted by a B-29 aircraft. In October 1945 he became commanding general of the US Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific; he held this position until his retirement in June 1946, with 29 years of continuous military service. Among his military and foreign decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal with 1 oak leaf cluster, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with 2 oak leaf clusters, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the World War I Victory Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, the Republic of China Order of the Cloud and Banner, and the Mexican Medal of Military Merit. After his military retirement, he served as vice president of Air Associates, Incorporated in New York for three years, then worked for ten years with Swiss American Aviation Corporation, later known as Learjet, helping to develop the automatic pilot and other instrumentation. He died of complications from pneumonia in San Antonio, Texas at the age of 91. His twin brother, Benjamin Giles, also served at high level in the US Army Air Forces and retired in September 1946 at the rank of major general. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Richard Portlock Giles (1858 - 1915)
  Louisa Read Giles (1859 - 1922)
 
 Spouses:
  Hollyce Thomas Giles (1890 - 1968)
  Katherine J Giles (1906 - 2000)
 
 Siblings:
  Sally Giles (1885 - 1906)*
  Robert Byron Giles (1888 - 1974)*
  Barney McKinney Giles (1892 - 1984)
  Benjamin Franklin Giles (1892 - 1974)*
  Cornelia Giles (1895 - 1898)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery
San Antonio
Bexar County
Texas, USA
Plot: Section B, Grave 240-D
GPS (lat/lon): 29.28568, -98.25941
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Oct 27, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 18161
Gen Barney McKinney Giles
Added by: Ron Moody
 
Gen Barney McKinney Giles
Added by: David N. Lotz
 
Gen Barney McKinney Giles
Cemetery Photo
Added by: DonZas
 
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