Twining, Nathan F. (Nathan Farragut), 1897-1982

Alternative names
Birth 1897-10-11
Death 1982-03-29

Biographical notes:

Air Force officer.

From the description of Reminiscences of Nathan Farragut Twining: oral history, 1967. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122419971

U.S. Army and Air Force officer; later, publishing company executive.

From the description of Papers of Nathan F. Twining, 1924-1960 (bulk 1950-1960). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 81804920

Nathan Twining's military career began in 1916 as a member of the Third Oregon Infantry (National Guard). He graduated from West Point in 1918 and joined the American Forces in Germany as a ground observer in 1919. After flight training, assorted command assignments, and Command and General Staff College, General Twining was named Chief-of-Staff of the Army Air Forces in the South Pacific in 1942. In January 1943, he and fourteen airmen were forced into the Coral Sea and spent six days adrift before being rescued. He was promoted to Major General that same year and commanded the 13th Air Force. He subsequently was appointed commander, Air Forces, Southwest Pacific and placed in tactical control of all Army, Navy, Marine and Allied Air Forces in the South Pacific, one of the first Joint Air Commands in U.S. history. Later that year he assumed command of the 15th Air Force in Italy and then took over command of the Mediterranean Allied Strategic Air Forces. He returned to the Pacific in 1945 and it was his command that dropped the only two atomic bombs used in time of war. After the war and assignments in Washington, D. C., Ohio, and Alaska, General Twining returned to Washington in July, 1950, as deputy chief of staff for personnel. In 1953, he was named Chief of Staff of the Air Force and in 1957 was sworn in as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by President Eisenhower. He retired from the military in 1960, worked as Vice Chairman of Holt, Rinehart and Winston Publishers, and as a consultant to the Martin-Marietta Corporation until his final retirement in 1967. He died in 1982 of a heart attack.

From the description of Twining collection, 1941-1965. (US Air Force Academy). WorldCat record id: 288719045

Biographical Note

  • 1897, Oct. 11: Born, Monroe, Wis.
  • 1916 - 1917 : Served with Oregon National Guard
  • 1918: Commissioned second lieutenant, Infantry
  • 1919: B.A., United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.
  • 1919 - 1920 : Student, infantry school of the army
  • 1924: Transferred to Air Corps
  • 1932: Married Maude McKeever
  • 1935 - 1936 : Attended Air Corps tactical school
  • 1936 - 1937 : Attended Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, Kans.
  • 1942 - 1943 : Chief of staff to commanding general of U.S. Army Forces in the South Pacific Area
  • 1943: Commanding general, 13th Air Force, Solomon Islands Commanding general, 15th Air Force, Italy, and Mediterranean Allied Strategic Air Forces
  • 1945: Commanding general, 20th Air Force, Pacific
  • 1945 - 1947 : Commanding general, Air Materiel Command, Wright Field, Ohio
  • 1947 - 1950 : Commander in chief, Alaska
  • 1950: Became general, U. S. Air Force
  • 1950 - 1953 : Air force vice chief of staff
  • 1953 - 1957 : Air force chief of staff
  • 1957 - 1960 : Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • 1960 - 1967 : Vice chairman of board, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, Inc.
  • 1966: Published Neither Liberty nor Safety: A Hard Look at U.S. Military Policy and Strategy. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston
  • 1982, Mar. 29: Died, Lacklund Air Force Base, Tex.

From the guide to the Nathan F. Twining Papers, 1924-1960, (bulk 1950-1960), (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)


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Ark ID:


  • Atomic bomb
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • World War, 1939-1945--Aerial operations, American
  • Indochinese War, 1946-1954--Aerial operations, American
  • Aeronautics
  • Operation Crossroads, Marshall Islands, 1946
  • Korean War, 1950-1953--Prisoners and prisons
  • World War, 1939-1945--Aerial operations
  • Atomic bomb--History
  • Guided missiles
  • Military policy


  • Executives
  • Army officers
  • Airforce officers


  • United States (as recorded)
  • Pacific Ocean (as recorded)
  • Bikini Atoll (Marshall Islands) (as recorded)
  • Europe (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)