Brigadier General John R. McGraw

Brigadier General John R. McGraw


Died July 1, 1976.

John Robert McGraw was born in Lakemont (Blair County) Penn, in 1912. He graduated from Johnstown High School in 1928 as salutatorian, Johnstown, Pa. He attended the University of Pittsburgh Junior College at Johnstown, Pa., from 1928 to 1930. He then attended and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh Medical School, Pittsburgh, Pa., with the degree of doctor of medicine in 1934.

During 1933 and 1934, Dr. McGraw served a junior internship with the U.S. Public Health Service, at the Marine Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pa. He served as intern and resident during period from July 1934 to August 1935 at the Comemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital, Johnstown, Pa.

Dr. McGraw was first commissioned in the Medical Corps, Reserves, and ROTC on June 6, 1934.

Dr. McGraw engaged in private practice from August 1935 to February 1936 at Shanksville, Pa., as general practitioner and surgeon. To further his professional training, he then served a senior internship in surgery with the U.S. Public Health Service, at the Marine Hospital, Galveston, Texas, March 29, 1936 to Jan. 3, 1937.

Dr. McGraw entered the military service as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army on Jan. 4, 1937. His first assignment was at the William Beaumont General Hospital. In October 1937, he was reassigned to Fort McKinley, Maine. This was followed by an assignment to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in September 1938 and the Army Basic Medicine Field Service School, January 1939.

In September 1939, Lieutenant McGraw was assigned to Fort Lewis, Wash., and in July 1940, attended the Flight Surgeon’s Course at the School of Aviation Medicine, followed by a tour of duty at McChord Air Force Base, Wash. Captain McGraw then served at Fort George Wright attended C&CS School (1942) and was assigned as commandant, Nurses’ Flight School, Bowman Field, December 1943.

While Captain McGraw was serving with Headquarters Second Air Force at Fort George Wright, he was promoted to major and to lieutenant colonel. While serving as commandant of the Flight Nurses School, Bowman Field, Louisville, Ky., Lieutenant Colonel McGraw was promoted to the rank of colonel.

Colonel McGraw’s reassignment from Bowman Field took him to Randolph Field, Texas, to assume the position of assistant commandant (AAF School of Aviation Medicine) in October 1944.

Colonel McGraw began his overseas duty in May of 1945 when he served three months in the European Theater of Operations. He served as surgeon, Thirteenth Air Force, in the Pacific Theater. After World War II, he was assigned to the Air War College, the Surgeon General’s Office, and served as deputy commandant and commandant of the School of Aviation Medicine at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.

Colonel McGraw again served overseas as surgeon, Headquarters Twelfth Air Force, Ramstein, Germany, beginning in August 1956. In January 1958, he assumed the same position at Seventeenth Air Force headquarters in Tripoli, Libya. After this tour at Wheelus Air Force Base, Colonel McGraw returned to an assignment as surgeon, Eighth Air Force, Westover Air Force Base, Mass.

Early in January 1961, Colonel McGraw arrived at headquarters Strategic Air Command to assume the position of surgeon. This was followed by promotion to brigadier general with date of rank Feb. 15, 1961.

A senior flight surgeon, General McGraw has compiled 2,554 flight hours.

General McGraw’s awards and decorations include the Commendation Ribbon; American Defense Service Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; American Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; Philippine Liberation Ribbon; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; National Defense Service Medal; and the Air Force Longevity Service Award.

His affiliations, professional and nonprofessional, include: Aerospace Medical Association, Industrial Medicine and Surgery Association, Military Surgeons, American Medical Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Masonic Lodge.

In addition to completing courses at Air War College and Command and Staff School, General McGraw studied medical hazards, radiation, at the University of Chicago, in 1948 and completed a missile medicine course in 1959.

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