Died Nov. 1, 1967.
John Ferral McBlain was born in Washington, D.C., in 1900. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy July 2, 1920, was appointed a second lieutenant of Infantry and promoted to first lieutenant.
In the fall of 1920 he was transferred to the Cavalry and entered the Cavalry School at Fort Riley, Kan., from which he graduated in June 1921. He then entered the Air Service Pilot School at Carlstrom Field, Fla., and graduated in December 1921. The next month he enrolled in the Air Service Observation School at Post Field, Fort Sill, Okla., graduated in June 1922 and remained at Post Field as engineering officer. In August 1922, he transferred to the Air Service.
General McBlain became engineering officer of the 44th Observation Squadron at Post Field in July 1923, and in October 1924, transferred to Brooks Field, Texas, as a flying instructor at the Air Service Primary Flying School. He went to Wheeler Field, Hawaii in February 1925 as assistant operations officer of the Fourth Observation Squadron that moved to Luke Field, Hawaii in January 1927.
In March 1928, General McBlain became adjutant and operations officer of the Eighth Attack Squadron at Fort Crokett, Texas. In January 1929, he entered the flying instructors school at Kelly Field, Texas. The following month he moved to Brooks Field as a flying instructor at the Air Corps Primary Flying School, where he also served as commanding officer of the 20th Photo Section. In July 1930, he became a flight commander at the Air Corps Primary Flying School at Brooks Field and in October 1931, moved to the Air Corps Primary Flying School at Randolph Field, Texas, in the same capacity.
General McBlain, in September 1934, was assigned additional duty as engineering officer of the 53rd School Squadron at Randolph Field and in March 1935, was transferred to the 52nd School Squadron. He became commanding officer of the squadron in July 1936, and entered the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Ala., a month later. He graduated in June 1937, and remained at Maxwell Field as commanding officer of the headquarters squadron. He enrolled in the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., in August 1937, and graduated in June 1938.
In July 1938, General McBlain became assistant to the chief of the training section of the Training and Operations Division, Office of the Chief of Air Corps and in September 1941, was named assistant to the executive officer. He transferred to Maxwell Field in January 1942, as assistant to the assistant chief of staff for operations of the Southeast Army Air Forces Training Center, and a month later became assistant chief of staff. He was appointed commanding general of the 30th Flying Training Wing at Jackson, Miss., Army Air Base in March 1943.
General McBlain went to the China-Burma-India theater in December 1943, assigned to the staff of the Southeast Asia Command. In August 1944, he was given a temporary assignment at Army Air Forces headquarters. Soon thereafter was ordered to Barksdale Field, La., as commanding general of the Third Tactical Air Command. In March 1945, he became chief of staff of the Army Air Forces Eastern Flying Training Command at Maxwell Field, and in July 1949 was assigned to the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations on the War Department General staff.
In December 1945, General McBlain was named deputy commander of the Army Air Forces Technical Training Command at St. Louis, Mo. In June 1946, he was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe at Wiesbaden, Germany. He became chief of staff of the 12th Tactical Air Command in Europe in October 1946, and two months later returned to the U.S. Air Forces in Europe headquarters at Wiesbaden, where he was appointed assistant chief of staff for operations in February 1947.
In May 1949, he was placed in command of Scott Air Force Base, Ill.
General McBlain became inspector general of Strategic Air Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., in October 1950. He was transferred to Air Force headquarters, Washington, D.C., in January 1954, for duty as deputy director of the secretary of the Air Force Personnel Council and in March 1953, became director of that council.
General McBlain has been awarded the Legion of Merit. He is rated a command pilot, combat observer and aircraft observer.