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First Name: James

Last Name: Collins

Birthplace: Bronx, NY, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Francis

Date of Birth: 02 September 1905

Date of Death: 22 January 1989

Rank: General

Years Served: 1927-1964
James Francis Collins

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1927

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


James Francis Collins
General, U.S. Army

James Francis Collins was born on 2 September 1905 in the Bronx, NY, the son of Irish immigrant parents.

Collins attended the U.S. Military Academy and, upon graduating in 1927, was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in Field Artillery. That began an Army career that lasted for 37 years. He served in the Hawaiian Division before the outbreak of World War II.

In World War II, Collins saw duty in the Southwest Pacific in the Papua-New Guinea and Luzon Campaigns. He served primarily with I Corps, which had been re-activated for WW II service. I Corps took command of divisions in the south Pacific, leading US and Australian forces as they pushed the Japanese army out of New Guinea. It went on to be one of the principal leading elements in the Battle of Luzon, liberating the Philippines. His positions with I Corps included:

1944 - Executive Officer Artillery, I Corps

1944 - Deputy Chief of Staff, I Corps 

1945 - Promoted to Brigadier General and made Chief of Staff, I Corps

In 1945-46, at the close of WWII, Collins was Commanding General Artillery, I Corps, in the Philippines and in Japan. He was transferred to the Washington DC area in 1946 and attended the National War College. In 1950, he joined the faculty at the Army War College.

Other commands held by General Collins include:

1954 - 1956 Commanding General, US Army Alaska

1956 -1957 Commanding General, 2nd Infantry Division

From 1958-61, Collins was Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, U.S. Army, a Pentagon assignment. His duties included being Executive Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Personnel.

Collins was promoted to the four-star rank of General on 1 April 1961 and given his final military assignment as Commander-in-Chief, US Army Pacific.

General Collins retired from the Army in March 1964.

Medals and Awards

Army Distinguished Service Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal
Air Medal
American Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star
American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 3 Bronze Stars
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation Medal
National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star
Philippine Liberation Ribbon
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation
Presidential Unit Citation

In Retirement

On 1 April 1964, General Collins assumed the Presidency of the American Red Cross where he served during the height of the Vietnam War. During his tenure, he arranged the broadening of Red Cross services to American military personnel in Vietnam and services to military hospitals throughout the world. Collins also presided over the expansion of blood services to civilians as well as to the military. He retired from the Red Cross on 30 September 1970.


In 1932, James married Marian A. McLaughlin who preceded him in death in 1986.

Death and Burial

General James Francis Collins died of prostate cancer at Walter Reed Army Medical Center on 22 January 1989, at the age of 83. He lived in McLean, VA. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 2, Site 4955 LH. His wife, Marian, died in 1986 and is buried with him.

Collins was survived by a daughter, Patricia C. Bowman, and two grandchildren, all of McLean, VA.


Honoree ID: 210   Created by: MHOH




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