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First Name: John

Last Name: Vogt

Birthplace: Elizabeth, NJ, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: William

Date of Birth: 18 March 1920

Date of Death: 16 April 2010

Rank: General

Years Served: 1941-1975
John William Vogt

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)
•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


John William Vogt

General, U.S. Air Force

John William Vogt was born on 18 March 1920 in Elizabeth, NJ. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University and a Master of Arts degree from Columbia University. He was also a fellow of the Harvard School for International Affairs. In 1941, he entered the U.S. Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet and attended Flying Schools at Randolph Field and Ellington Field, TX. He received his pilot wings and commission as a Second Lieutenant in April 1942.

From April to December 1942, he served as a fighter pilot with the 63rd Fighter Squadron, 56th Fighter Group. In January 1943, he accompanied his squadron to England and completed a combat tour of duty as a Flight Commander. In May 1944, he became Commander of the 360th Fighter Squadron, 356th Fighter Group, and completed a second combat tour. He participated in the Air Offensive, Europe, and Rhineland campaigns and the Normandy Invasion. He achieved ace status by destroying eight enemy aircraft in aerial combat.

From November 1945 to July 1946, he served as Commander of the First Air Base Squadron and Ibura Army Base at Recife, Brazil, where he remained until he returned to the U.S.

After various staff assignments, he was assigned, in 1951, to the Office of the Special Assistant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff for National Security Council Affairs, where he worked with the senior staff, and later, the Planning Board of the National Security Council.

In August 1955, he became Assistant Deputy for Plans and Operations, Headquarters Far East Air Forces, Japan. The following year, he was transferred to Hickam Air Force Base, HI, as the Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff, Commander-in-Chief, Pacific.

In 1960, Vogt was assigned to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Programs, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, as Deputy Assistant Director of Plans where he functioned as the Air Force Planner in the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Later, he became the Assistant Director of Plans for Joint Matters, with responsibility for the preparation of Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force positions for consideration of the Chief of Staff.

In February 1963, he became the Director of the Policy Planning Staff, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, International Security Affairs. In this assignment, he was head of the staff of defense department planners, both civilian and military, who participated in the drafting of political/military plans.

In August 1965, he began a three-year tour of duty as Deputy for Plans and Operations, Pacific Air Forces, in which capacity he participated in the planning and direction of the air campaign against North Vietnam. He left Hawaii in June 1968 to become Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. In August 1969, he joined the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as Director for Operations (J-3).

On 20 July 1970, he became Director of the Joint Staff, a position he held until 7 April 1972, when he was promoted to the four-star rank of General. He assumed duty as Commander, Seventh Air Force (PACAF), and Deputy Commander, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, on 10 April 1972. Vogt was responsible for air operations in Southeast Asia for the last eighteen months of U.S. combat activity. With the cease-fire in Vietnam, he became the Commander of the U.S. Support Activities Group in Thailand which conducted all U.S. air activities in Laos and Cambodia until U.S. combat involvement ceased in August 1973. He became Commander-in-Chief of Pacific Air Forces on 1 October 1973, and assumed Command of AAFCE and USAFE in June 1974. He is the only officer to have been Commander-in-Chief of both the U.S. Pacific and European Air Forces.

He retired from the Air Force on 31 August 1975.

Medals and Awards

Air Force Distinguished Service Medal (3 Awards)

Army Distinguished Service Medal

Silver Star Medal

Legion of Merit

Distinguished Flying Cross (5 Awards)

Bronze Star Medal

Air Medal (4 Awards)

Joint Service Commendation Medal

Purple Heart

Croix de Guerre with Etoile de Vermeil (France)

Republic of Vietnam the Air Service Medal, Cross of Gallantry with Palm, National Order of Vietnam (Commander)

Republic of China Order of Yun-hui, Grand Cordon (Cloud and Banner, First Class)

General Vogt was rated a Command Pilot.


Vogt was the 1973 recipient of the General H.H. Arnold Award of the Arnold Air Society in recognition of outstanding contributions to military aviation and aerospace progress.

Death and Burial

General John William Vogt died on 16 April 2010 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Honoree ID: 853   Created by: MHOH




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