James Francis Collins
Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1927
Engagements: • World War II (1941 - 1945)
James Francis Collins
James Francis Collins was born on 2 September 1905 in the Bronx, NY, the son of Irish immigrant parents.
Collins attended the U.S. Military Academy and, upon graduating in 1927, was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in Field Artillery. That began an Army career that lasted for 37 years. He served in the Hawaiian Division before the outbreak of World War II.
In World War II, Collins saw duty in the Southwest Pacific in the Papua-New Guinea and Luzon Campaigns. He served primarily with I Corps, which had been re-activated for WW II service. I Corps took command of divisions in the south Pacific, leading US and Australian forces as they pushed the Japanese army out of New Guinea. It went on to be one of the principal leading elements in the Battle of Luzon, liberating the Philippines. His positions with I Corps included:
1944 - Executive Officer Artillery, I Corps
1944 - Deputy Chief of Staff, I Corps
1945 - Promoted to Brigadier General and made Chief of Staff, I Corps
In 1945-46, at the close of WWII, Collins was Commanding General Artillery, I Corps, in the Philippines and in Japan. He was transferred to the Washington DC area in 1946 and attended the National War College. In 1950, he joined the faculty at the Army War College.
Other commands held by General Collins include:
1954 - 1956 Commanding General, US Army Alaska
1956 -1957 Commanding General, 2nd Infantry Division
From 1958-61, Collins was Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, U.S. Army, a Pentagon assignment. His duties included being Executive Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Personnel.
Collins was promoted to the four-star rank of General on 1 April 1961 and given his final military assignment as Commander-in-Chief, US Army Pacific.
General Collins retired from the Army in March 1964.
Medals and Awards
Army Distinguished Service Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
On 1 April 1964, General Collins assumed the Presidency of the American Red Cross where he served during the height of the Vietnam War. During his tenure, he arranged the broadening of Red Cross services to American military personnel in Vietnam and services to military hospitals throughout the world. Collins also presided over the expansion of blood services to civilians as well as to the military. He retired from the Red Cross on 30 September 1970.
In 1932, James married Marian A. McLaughlin who preceded him in death in 1986.
Death and Burial
General James Francis Collins died of prostate cancer at Walter Reed Army Medical Center on 22 January 1989, at the age of 83. He lived in McLean, VA. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 2, Site 4955 LH. His wife, Marian, died in 1986 and is buried with him.
Collins was survived by a daughter, Patricia C. Bowman, and two grandchildren, all of McLean, VA.
|Honoree ID: 210||Created by: MHOH|