Retired Aug. 31, 1963. Died Aug. 1, 1989.
William Porter Farnsworth was born in Montclair, N.J., in 1901. He graduated from Dartmouth College with a bachelor of science degree in political science in 1926, and received his bachelor of laws degree from Columbia University Law School in 1933.
Following his graduation from law school he accepted an appointment with the National Recovery Administration. Starting in the legal division he later transferred to the administrative side and, at the time of leaving NRA, was deputy administrator. He transferred to the Works Progress Administration first as administrative officer of the Federal Theater Project and later as deputy national administrator. He left this position in September of 1937 to take up the practice of law as a member of the firm of Wittenberg, Carrington and Farnsworth until after the outbreak of World War II.
Ordered to active duty in January of 1943, General Farnsworth served in the Materiel Command of the Army Air Corps. On release from active duty June 22, 1946 as a colonel, Air Corps he returned to private practice with his law firm.
Recalled to active duty in March 1948, General Farnsworth was executive to the director of budget, Office of the Comptroller, at Air Force headquarters. From September to December 1949 he attended the Harvard Business School, completed the Advanced Management Course, and was reassigned to the Office of the Comptroller as assistant auditor general.
Joining the Air Materiel Command in March 1951, General Farnsworth assumed command of the Northeastern Air Procurement District at Boston, Mass. It was here he received his promotion to brigadier general. Moving to Air Materiel Command Headquarters at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, in September 1952, he was chief of the Quality Control Division, becoming chief of the Procurement Division the following April.
Transferred to the Office of the Secretary of Defense in Washington, D.C., in July 1954, General Farnsworth was assistant staff director, Purchasing and Contracting Policies, in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Supply and Logistics, and subsequently, staff director for inspection and quality control. On Sept. 1, 1955, he was recalled to the Air Force as the auditor general.
General Farnsworth is a member of the Bar of the State of New York, Federal Court, Tax Court and Supreme Court of the United States. He is also a member of the Federal Bar Association and of Beta Alpha Psi (Accounting Fraternity).
Dartmouth College, bachelor of science, 1926
Columbia University, School of Law, bachelor of laws, 1933
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Lieutenant Colonel Jun 3, 1954
Colonel Jan 8, 1946
Brigadier General Sep 5, 1952
Major General Oct 24, 1956
Hobbies - Photography and yacht racing. From 1926 through 1930 General Farnsworth owned and raced one of the fastest schooner yachts on the Atlantic Coast, the well know "Rumpus."
OPINIONS, TASTES AND EVALUATIONS
In the food line the general's taste runs slightly to the exotic, from the blueberry pancakes of Maine to the curries of the Malay Straits. Cooking in the general's home is cooperative and competitive as both he and his wife are very fond of cooking and try to outdo each other.
In housing the general prefers the housing and furniture of the Colonial period. He is the owner of one of the "Old Town" Alexandria's very old houses, part of it being built between 1750 and 1770 and the other part between 1790 and 1810. This is the third old house that General and Mrs. Farnsworth have restored. He comes by this taste quite naturally as he spent his summers on the family form at Thetford Hill, Vt.
In music, his taste runs from symphony to dixieland, definitely excluding bebop and rock and roll.
His idea of the most satisfying scenery in the world is the New England hills in autumn foliage during the first part of October. His idea of perfect climate is a sandy beach at the end of Cape Cod in the summer time.
When asked if he had any favorite epigrams, mottos or "philosophy of life" he stated that Shakespeare had summed it up for him so well that he never tried to improve on Polonius' advice to Laertes. "To thine own self be true and it shall follow as the night the day thou cans't not then be false to any man."
Legion of Merit
SERVICE STARTING AND FINISHING DATES
1. Feb 1943 to Apr 1943 - Officers Training School, Miami Beach, Fla.
2. Apr 1943 to Jun 1943 - Contract renegotiator, Eastern Air Procurement District, N.Y.
3. Jun 1943 to Nov 1944 - Army Air Forces area representative, New England Area, Boston, Mass.
4. Nov 1944 to Jun 1946 - Eastern Procurement District, readjustment executive, Deputy for Supply, Deputy Commander
5. Mar 1948 to Aug 1949 - executive, Directorate of Budget
6. Sep 1949 to Dec 1949 - student, Harvard Business School
7. Dec 1949 to Mar 1951, assistant auditor general, Headquarters U.S. Air Force
8. Mar 1951 to Sep 1952, commander, Northeastern Air Procurement District, Boston, Mass.
9. Sep 1952 to Apr 1953, chief, quality control, Headquarters AMC
10. Apr 1953 to Jun 1954 - chief, Procurement Division, AMC
11. Jul 1954 to Nov 1954 - assistant staff director purchasing and contracting policy, Office of the Secretary of Defense
12. Nov 1954 to Aug 1955 - staff director, Quality Control, Office of the Secretary of Defense
13. Sep 1955 to present - the auditor general, Headquarters U.S. Air Force