Retired Feb. 1, 1970. Died Nov. 29, 1980.
Brigadier General Joseph N. Donovan is the commander of the U.S. Air Force Tactical Airlift Center and the 839th Air Division at Pope Air Force Base, N.C.
General Donovan was born in Morenci, Ariz., in 1921. He graduated from San Marcos Military Academy and attended Southwest Texas State College in San Marcos, Texas, and Baylor University, Waco, Texas. He entered the U.S. Army Air Corps in January 1942 as an aviation cadet and graduated in November 1942 with his pilot wings and a commission as second lieutenant.
During World War II, he served on anti-submarine patrol in B-25 aircraft and then completed a combat tour of duty in the European Theater of Operations in B-24 aircraft.
Following World War II, General Donovan served with the U.S. Military Mission in Colombia, South America. Leaving there in 1948, the general was assigned to Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., where he commanded the operations squadron until 1950 and the maintenance squadron until 1951.
From April 1951 until April 1955, he held command and staff assignments in the Strategic Air Command including: commander, 3rd Strategic Support Squadron; chief of maintenance, then commander, 96th Bomb Squadron; and director of operations in the 2nd Bombardment Wing flying B-50 and B-47 aircraft.
In Apri1 955, General Donovan was assigned as commander of Torrejon Air Base, Spain. Under his command, Torrejon Air Base was constructed from a 4,060-foot macadam strip to one of the largest operational B-47 bases in Europe.
Upon his return to the United States in 1958, he served as deputy commander for operations of the 4228th Strategic Wing at Columbus Air Force Base, Miss., flying B-52 and KC-135 aircraft.
The general entered the National War College at Washington, D.C., in August 1960. After graduation in 1961, he served in the Directorate of Operations at U.S. Air Force Headquarters as chief of the Strategic Division, Deputy Director of Strategic Defense Forces, and as assistant director of operations for joint chiefs of staff matters.
He moved to Forbes Air Force Base, Kan., where he commanded the 313th Troop Carrier Wing and then the 838th Air Division.
In June 1967, he assumed command of the U.S. Air Force Tactical Airlift Center at Pope Air Force Base, N.C., and in July 1969 he assumed command of the 839th Air Division at Pope Air Force Base, in addition to being the commander of the center.
His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation with oak leaf cluster, Purple Heart and the French Croix de Guerre. In addition, he has been awarded pilot wings from Spain and Colombia.