May 26, 2018
Obituaries Latest News | Poll Questions | Farm Bill | Memorial Day | Pigs Buried

John R. Deane Jr. Gerneral, U.S. Army, Retired

GOULDSBORO – John R. “Jack” Deane Jr. was born June 8, 1919, in San Francisco. A third generation San Franciscan, he was the son of John R. “Russ” and Margaret Wood “Margie” Deane. His father was a career Army officer, thus Jack grew up at many different stations: Fort Davis, Panama Canal Zone; Berkeley, Calif.; Fort Benning, Ga.; Tientsin, China; Fort Snelling, Minn.; Fort Leavenworth, Kan.; and Fort Wadsworth, N.Y. He passed away July 18, 2013.
His tremendous admiration for his father and his respect for the values and integrity of his father’s colleagues led Jack to make up his mind, by age 10, to be an Army officer. From this point on his academic focus was on gaining admission to West Point. As his final step in getting into West Point, Jack enlisted in the 16th Infantry in 1937. He served in G Company at Fort Jay on Governors Island in New York Harbor, where he learned to polish his brass and shine his shoes to the perfection required to serve as honor guards at Irish Wakes and Polish weddings; choice duties in New York City. He won entrance to the West Point Preparatory School, Fort Dix, N.J., and later won the highest ranking admission of the presidential and Army appointments to West Point. He entered West Point, July 1, 1938. Jack felt his enlisted service was probably the most important year of his professional life. He learned about soldiers and what motivated them from his first sergeant, 1st Sgt. Oliver, who served as an inspiration to Jack throughout his career. His enlisted service was instrumental in developing the leadership qualities that led to his becoming a cadet company commander and captain of the Army Polo Team while at West Point. The United States had been in World War II for six months when Jack was commissioned. He was assigned to the 104th Timberwolf Division, a division which became famous for its night fighting prowess. The Division offered Jack the opportunity for rapid advancement – from second lieutenant platoon leader in 1942 to lieutenant colonel and battalion commander in combat, at age 25, in early 1945. During this period Jack was awarded the Silver Star upon the recommendation of Brig. Gen. Bryant E. Moore, the assistant division commander, who came originally from Gouldsboro, a fact unknown to Jack until he retired there some 50 years later. Jack also received the Bronze Star with V Device, the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantry Badge and was recommended for the Distinguished Service Cross, which he did not receive due to clerical oversight. After the Division returned home to train for the invasion of Japan, the war ended and Jack was assigned to Headquarters, U.S. Army, European Theater, where he was responsible for the establishment and operation of a major espionage apparatus. Jack returned to Washington in 1947 and served for five years in Army war plans and as the executive officer to the secretary of the Army. Next, in 1952, it was off to the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan. In 1953 Jack went to Korea. The war there had just ended and he joined the Armistice Commission as chief of plans until moving on to command the Second Battalion of the 17th Infantry. He returned to the states in 1955 and attended the Armed Forces Staff College. Jack was assigned as the chief of plans and programs under the chief of research and development, Lt. Gen. Jim Gavin in 1957. From the Pentagon Jack went to the National War College, class of 1959. In mid-1959 he returned to Germany for assignments as chief of plans and programs in Headquarters, U.S. Army, Europe, and later as commander of the Second Battle Group, 6th Infantry stationed in Berlin. While in command of this unit, the East Germans started erecting the Berlin Wall. During the first day of its construction, he went through every entry point into East Berlin at least once to demonstrate that the United States would not be denied its right of access to all parts of Berlin. He was the first American officer to go through any entry point that day and pictures of his first foray were published worldwide. A few weeks later

Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

You may also like