Retired May 31, 1963. Died June 10, 2001.
Major General Daniel Francis Callahan was born in Zenda, Kan., in 1910. He graduated from high school in Wichita, Kan., in 1927 and received an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy. He graduated from West Point June 11, 1931 and was commissioned a second lieutenant of Field Artillery.
The West Point Annual "The Howitzer" of 1931 predicted General Callahan's Air Force career when it said "for Callahan a life without airplanes would be just like a life without bread and butter." This prediction came true when General Callahan began flying training the following September. He was given his wings in October 1932, and assigned to the 25th Bomb Squadron at France Field in the Panama Canal Zone. In the Canal Zone he also served with the Panama Air Depot and the 7th Observation Squadron.
Lieutenant Callahan transferred to the Air Corps Jan. 25, 1933. He entered the Air Corps Technical School at Chanute Field, Ill., in May 1935 and, after graduation the following June, was assigned as engineering officer of the 12th Observation Squadron at Brooks Field, Texas. He continued his specialized engineering and logistics training when he entered the Air Corps Engineering School at Wright Field, Ohio in June 1937. He graduated in September 1938 after which he took a post-graduate course in Engineering Mechanics at the University of Michigan. The following June (1939) he became chief of the Service Liaison Unit of the Power Plant Laboratory at Wright Field.
In November 1941, General Callahan, then a major, went overseas as Air Engineering Officer of the U.S. Military Mission in North Africa. The following May he organized and was named chief of the Maintenance Division of the 10th Air Force in the China-Burma-India Theatre, establishing and assuming command of the 5309th Air Service Command there in November 1943.
A year later, General Callahan was assigned to a special study group in the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Plans at Army Air Force Headquarters. In January 1945, he was named assistant chief of staff for supply and maintenance of the Continental Air Forces at Bolling Field, Washington, D.C., and a year later he assumed the same position with the Strategic Air Command at Andrews Field, Md.
In August 1947, Colonel Callahan entered the Air War College at Maxwell Field, Ala. He graduated the following June and became assistant chief of the Logistics Plans Group in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Materiel at U.S. Air Force Headquarters, becoming chief of that group in August. He was named assistant for foreign aid in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Materiel in July 1949.
General Callahan was appointed deputy to the senior U.S. member of the Permanent Working Staff of the Military Production and Supply Board of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in London, England in January 1950, and the following June he was designated senior U.S. member and served as chairman of the Permanent Working Staff for the remainder of 1950. In August 1951 he was named alternate U.S. Representative on the North Atlantic Defense Production Board in London, followed by his assignment as chief of the Military Assistance Advisory Group in the United Kingdom in May 1952.
General Callahan was transferred to Air Force Headquarters in Washington in October 1953 and named deputy assistant for programming in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. He became assistant for programming of that office June 11, 1955. He became commander, Mobile Air Materiel Area, the position he now occupies, July 24, 1957.
Primary sporting interest is swimming: likes hunting (duck, pheasant, and deer) and fishing when time permits; enjoys spectator sports, especially football and baseball. Is consistently engaged in civic work of various types. Was advocate of and worked for establishment of U.S. Air Force Academy.
Has a tremendous capacity for work; enjoys fixing things around the house and is a talented do-it-yourselfer. Member, Notary Club; vice president and member of board of directors, Mobile County United Fund; member, advisory board of Providence Hospital; member, Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick; member, Ends of the Earth Club (Anglo-American Relations); member, English Speaking Union; member, board of directors, American Red Cross, Mobile, Ala; member, Air Force Association.
Opinions, Tastes, Evaluations
Really enjoys eating and is a connoisseur of fine food. Roast beef and blueberry pie are his favorites, but likes all food except bananas and strawberries; is a conservative dresser and prefers blue and gray suits, but likes cheerful ties, prefers colonial architecture, likes unusual or antique furniture but prefers comfort to show.
Is a very thorough reader of newspapers, has little time for other reading but enjoys books of Hemingway; enjoys music, finds it restful; musical tastes are varied, but prefers light classics or semi-popular; enjoys the beach and a climate permitting him to go often; likes to travel on vacations.
Is very alert to every situation; easygoing and tireless; emphasizes "Golden Rule", his favorite motto, and lives by it; believes in giving others the benefit of the doubt. During a congressional hearing, a Congressman, not satisfied with the book definition of "logistics" 'called upon General Callahan to define the word. General Callahan qualified this as a "stoopnagle" definition and said, "Logistics is the stuff, which, if you do not have it, the war will not run as well as if." Look Magazine published the definition and people throughout the United States read it.
Stresses fair play in his personal dealings and among all members of his command; stresses accuracy and sincerity in all relationships; insists on getting the most of very Air Force dollar and on a full days work for a days pay.
Will not tolerate slip-shod work, insincerity or premature judgment; is skeptical of short cuts, cure-alls, and easy solutions; is an advocate of accuracy and conciseness.
Mr. William Kaufman, executive director of the Mobile County United Fund, has this to say about General Callahan; "Warm, friendly, sincere and dedicated; the kind of person who is a credit to the government, to the Air Force, and the community that is fortunate enough to have him. When requested to do something, doesn't commit himself freely, but when he does, he follows through to the end. I'm proud to call him my friend." These sentiments have been voiced both by business and civic leaders and by the so-called "common man" throughout the community.
Decorations and Medals
Legion of Merit, with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal, Commendation Ribbon with oak leaf cluster, Department of Defense Identification Badge, American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, American Defense Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal.