Retired May 1, 1979.
Lieutenant General John R. Kelly Jr., is the Air Force deputy chief of staff for logistics and engineering. In this position, he is one of the senior policy advisers to the Air Force chief of staff.
General Kelly is responsible for the planning, management and logistics readiness of all Air Force weapon systems. Logistics support includes aircraft and missile maintenance, repair, supply and transportation. He exercises supervision and management over activities of more than 300,000 military and civilian logisticians. He also supervises Air Force support and participation in the U.S. foreign military sales program.
He is responsible for worldwide management of Air Force programs involving design, construction, maintenance and operation of more than $17 billion in real property. This includes the acquisition and disposal of real estate, the providing of fire protection and the development of engineering standards and criteria.
His responsibilities also encompass overall supervision of services activities which include commissary and management of all family, bachelor and transient housing.
More than a third of the Air Force annual budget is allocated to logistics, engineering and services. In addition, more than 40 percent of all Air Force people work in these areas.
A native of Philadelphia, General Kelly graduated from Overbrook High School in Philadelphia and attended Drexel Institute of Technology. He is a graduate of the Air Tactical School, the Air Command and Staff College, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
General Kelly began his military career in 1943, during World War II, when he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and entered aviation cadet training. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army Air Forces in January 1944 and was assigned as a pilot at several airfields in the United States. From June 1945 to November 1947, he was a B-29 bomber pilot in the Pacific.
After the war, he served at several bases as a pilot and a maintenance officer before entering the Air Command and Staff College in 1958. General Kelly has held key logistics positions at Headquarters Strategic Air Command, the Atomic Energy Commission, and in the Office of the Inspector General. He was vice commander of a strategic bomber wing in Massachusetts and later commander of bomber wings in Maine and California.
In 1973 he became deputy chief of staff, logistics for U.S. Air Forces in Europe and in 1974 became commander of the San Antonio Air Logistics Center at Kelly Air Force Base, Texas. He was assigned to Air Force headquarters at the Pentagon in July 1977 as assistant deputy chief of staff, systems and logistics and in October became the deputy chief of staff. On July 1, 1978 the deputate was reorganized; Air Force engineering and services activities were added; and he was designated the deputy chief of staff, logistics and engineering.