Retired June 1, 1965. Died Nov. 18, 2001.
Harry C. Porter was born in Langton, Ontario, Canada in 1910. He graduated from South Philadelphia High School for Boys in 1928. In 1928, he received a congressional appointment to the U.S. Military Academy. He graduated in 1932, 93rd in a class of 262, and was commissioned a second lieutenant of field artillery.
Second Lieutenant Porter's first assignment was that of battery reconnaissance officer in the 4th Field Artillery Pack at Fort Bragg, N.C. His other early service included assignment as personnel adjutant, math instructor for the West Point Preparatory School of the 4th Corps Area, battery commander, regimental motor officer and regimental supply officer.
From October 1940 to November 1942, Lieutenant Colonel Porter served in the Southwest Pacific, including the Philippines and East Indies Campaigns. During this period he was ordnance officer for the Far East Air Force, the Allied Air Force, Southwest Pacific Area, and ordnance officer of the Fifth Air Force.
Such activities earned Lieutenant Colonel Porter the Silver Star Medal in 1942 for gallantry in action, Bataan, Philippine Islands, on Dec. 21, 1941. During an inspection of aviation ordnance activities, enemy dive bombers succeeded in setting fire to a number of train cars loaded with ammunition and gasoline. With complete disregard for his own safety, Major Porter supervised and assisted in saving a large quantity of these supplies, although exploding artillery shells and rifle ammunition presented a constant hazard. He also was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for services in the Philippines.
Colonel Porter was transferred to Headquarters Army Air Forces, Washington, D.C., in 1942 as Deputy Air Ordnance Office, deputy chief of staff, Materiel, Headquarters U.S. Air Force from July 1, 1947 to May 31, 1948. He then became Chief of the Plans Division at Headquarters Armed Forces Special Weapons Project, Sandia Base, N.M., remaining until 1951. During this period, Colonel Porter was awarded the Legion of Merit and the Army Commendation Medal. General Porter attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1947.
Colonel Porter became Deputy for Special Weapons at Headquarters Air Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson, Air Force Base, Ohio, on June 7, 1951. His title was changed to assistant for special weapons on June 1, 1953 with no change in duties. He was appointed commander; 9079th Air Depot Wing, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on its activation Feb. 6, 1955 with additional duty as assistant for special weapons at Air Materiel Command Headquarters. For accomplishments during this tour of duty he was awarded the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster.
From February to May 1956, General Porter attended the Advanced Management Course at Harvard University.
On July 1, 1957, General Porter became an on-call member with the Military Armistice Commission, United Nations Command, in Korea. On Aug. 2, 1957, he was appointed assistant chief of staff, materiel, Headquarters, Pacific Air Forces, Hickam, Field, Hawaii. On May 29, 1958, he assumed command of the Air Materiel Force, Pacific Area. He relinquished the command in June 1960, when he returned to the mainland.
In July 1960, General Porter returned to Headquarters Air Force Logistics Command as director of plans and programs. On Nov. 1, 1962, he became chief of staff, Air Force Logistics Command.
General Porter is a member of the Association of Graduates, U.S. Military Academy; Harvard Business School Association; the Moraine Country Club, Layton, Ohio and an elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Honolulu, Hawaii.
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