Retired March 31, 1966. Died July 8, 1982.
Jermain Ferdinand Rodenhauser was born in Toledo, Ohio in 1909. He graduated from Jessup W. Scott High School in June 1927 and entered the U.S. Military Academy in July 1927. He graduated in 1931.
Lieutenant Rodenhauser's first assignment was in the Panama Canal Zone. While there he volunteered to take the Aircraft Observers Course and graduated in 1932. In 1934 he was ordered to Fort Sheridan, Ill., for duty with the 61st Anti-Aircraft Artillery which had the signal honor of representing the U.S. Army at the Chicago World's Fair. In 1935 he was detailed in the Ordnance Department and ordered to Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., where he was assigned to highly technical problems involving armament and aircraft. One of his test projects led to the mounting and firing of major caliber cannon from U.S. aircraft for the first time.
In 1936 Lieutenant Rodenhauser attended the graduate school of Massachusetts Institute of Technology receiving the master of science degree in June 1937. He attended the Ordnance School in 1937 and 1938 and upon graduation spent the succeeding two and one-half years at Picatinny Arsenal, Dover, N.J., where he headed the Central Arsenal Plans Division just as the ammunition and armament industries were being expanded by the flood of orders from Britain, France and other European nations who were facing the advent of World War II.
From 1938 - 1941 he was engaged in planning and assisting in the development of a broad U.S. base for munitions production. In January 1941 he was selected as commanding officer and U.S. contractor representative in the design, construction and operation of a 16,000 acre high explosive manufacturing plant in Ohio. Under his direction the plant was constructed and in production in world record time for which he was recommended as one of the first individuals to ever be considered for the then new Legion of Merit.
In July 1942 he was sent to the field in command of ordnance. By the end of the year he was recalled from the field to assist in the task of getting the Tank-Automotive Center - later, Office, Chief of Ordnance, Detroit, Mich., -- in operation with global effectiveness.
In 1943 Colonel Rodenhauser was selected as a member of the War Department Logistics Mission to the Mediterranean Area and the European Theater of Operations to insure that proper logistics planning and support were being employed in the preparation for Overlord.
In 1944 Colonel Rodenhauser was selected to head the Ordnance and Chemical Warfare portion of the Army Supply Program in General Sommerville's office. In recognition of his efforts from 1941 through 1944, he received the Legion of Merit.
In 1945 he was selected as a member of the Military Studies Division of the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey in the Pacific. Upon completion of this assignment in 1946 he was selected as a member of the founding faculty of the newly created Air War College. He served on the faculty for four years -- the last year he was the academic director for the College.
In 1950 - 1951 Colonel Rodenhauser attended the National War College and was then ordered to duty with the directorate of installations. Upon elevation of Installations to Assistant Chief of Staff level, Colonel Rodenhauser became Director of Real Property in which capacity he was charged with heavy responsibilities foremost being the Air Force Military Construction Program for which he annually provided the defense before the reviewing agencies and the Congress. He was promoted to brigadier general in July 1954. He received an oak leaf cluster to the Legion of Merit for this work.
In 1955 General Rodenhauser was selected as a member of the U.S. delegation to NATO in Paris, France where he served as deputy defense adviser and deputy Defense Representative to the North Atlantic and Mediterranean Areas. He received a second oak leaf cluster to the Legion of Merit for his work.
In 1958 General Rodenhauser took command of the Air Force Technical Applications Center near Alexandria, Va. In May 1960 he was promoted to temporary major general and in March 1961 to permanent brigadier general.
General Rodenhauser is a former member of Kiwanis, a member of the American Ordnance Association since 1935, and a charter member of the Air Force Association.