Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: Joseph

Last Name: Carroll

Birthplace: Chicago, IL, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: Francis

Date of Birth: 19 March 1910

Date of Death: 20 January 1991

Rank: Lieutenant General

Years Served:
Joseph Francis Carroll


Joseph Francis Carroll
Lieutenant General, U. S. Air Force

Joseph Francis Carroll was born on 19 March 1910 in Chicago, IL. He was graduated from St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, IL, in 1933 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and earned a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University, Chicago, in 1940. He was a member of the Illinois State Bar Association from 1940 to his death.

Carroll left the Seminary of St. Mary on the eve of being ordained a deacon, a transitional stage leading to ordination to the priesthood, in order to have a relationship with Mary Morrissey, who was to become his wife. He worked with Swift and Company, a meat-packing concern in Chicago, where he rose to a position as Assistant Sales Manager. Soon after completion of law school, he left to join the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

FBI Service

Carroll joined the FBI in October 1940, where he served as a Special Agent in field offices at Memphis and Knoxville, TN, before assignment to the Chicago field office. He was instrumental in catching noted gangster Roger "Tough" Touhy, which brought him to the personal attention of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. He was transferred to the Washington, DC, Headquarters of the FBI in May 1944, where he held progressive positions as Supervisor in Charge of Bank Robbery and Kidnapping matters; Chief of the Criminal Section; and First Assistant to the Assistant Director of the FBI in charge of the General Investigations and Accounting Division.

At the end of World War II, the U.S. Government was faced with the problem of disposition of war surplus property throughout the world. Upon special request from the Administrator of the Surplus Property Administration, Carroll was lent by the Attorney General and the Director of the FBI to the Surplus Property Administration (later the War Assets Administration). In this assignment he organized and directed the Compliance Enforcement Division, directing all investigative activity associated with surplus property disposal. In May 1947, he was recalled to his former position in the FBI as an Administrative Assistant to the Director of the FBI.

Military Service

When the U.S. Air Force was established as a separate executive department under the National Security Act of 1947, Secretary of the Air Force W. Stuart Symington, requested FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to loan Carroll to the services to organize an Air Force agency for investigative and counterintelligence functions. He organized and directed this new organization, the Office of Special Investigations, along the lines of the FBI rather than the U.S. Army's Criminal Investigation Division (CID). Carroll was tendered a commission as a Colonel, U.S. Air Force Reserve, on 12 January 1948. He was ordered to active duty in the grade of Brigadier General on 6 May 1948, and promoted to Major General on 11 August 1950.

From the time of his entry on active duty on 6 May, Carroll served as the first Director of the Office of Special Investigations, creating and organizing this centrally-directed investigative service, establishing district offices to service the air commands in the U.S., and furnishing trained specialists to Air Force activities worldwide for the conduct of special investigations.

On 6 September 1950, he was appointed Deputy Inspector General (IG) for Security, U.S. Air Force. In this assignment he was responsible for the security and physical protection of Air Force installations and activities against sabotage, espionage, and other hostile threats. In this capacity, he directed the Office of Special Investigations, the Office of the Provost Marshal, U.S. Air Force, and was responsible for all security plans and policy for the U.S. Air Force.

Until 1952, Carroll had been a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve on active duty, On 29 January 1952, he was granted a commission in the Regular Air Force as a permanent Colonel by a Special Act of Congress.

Major General Carroll was then assigned to Wiesbaden, Germany on 1 April 1958, as Deputy Commander (Rear) for the U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE). He served in that capacity until November 1959 when, under a command reorganization, he was named Chief of Staff, USAFE. While there, he was stationed with his close friend from seminary, Monsignor, and later Major General and Air Force Chief of Chaplains, Edwin R. Chess.

On 1 February 1960, Carroll was promoted to Lieutenant General and became the Inspector General of the U.S. Air Force stationed at Headquarters, U.S. Air Force, in Washington. He remained in that position until 1 October 1961, when the Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara, appointed him to his last assignment as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, with the responsibility for controlling Department of Defense (DoD) intelligence resources assigned to DIA and reviewing the intelligence functions assigned the military departments in satisfying the intelligence requirements of the DoD.

He retired from the Air Force on 15 September 1969.

Dates of Rank

12 January 1948 Colonel, U.S. Air Force (Reserve)

6 May 1948 Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force (Reserve)

11 August 1950 Major General, U.S. Air Force (Reserve)

29 January 1952 Colonel, U.S. Air Force

1 February 1960 Lieutenant General, U.S. Air Force

Medals and Awards

Distinguished Service Medal

Legion of Merit (2 Awards)

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award

National Defense Service Medal

Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon (5 Awards)

Death and Burial

Lieutenant General Joseph Francis Carroll died on 20 January 1991 in Alexandria, VA, due to complications related to Alzheimer's Disease. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Carroll was survived by his wife, Mary, and five sons, one of whom is former priest and writer James P. Carroll.

Honoree ID: 2317   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image