Major General John M. Cone, the 8th Commander of
White Sands Proving Ground/Missile Range, was born in Ft. Collins, Colorado,
June 26, 1914. His military career began 1 July 1932, when he enlisted as a
private, 22nd Infantry, at Oglethorpe, Georgia. He entered the United States
Military Academy, West Point, New York, as a cadet on 1 July 1933. On 12
June 1937 he was graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree and was
commissioned a Second Lieutenant of field artillery.
He joined the 18th Field Artillery in September 1937 at
Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Two years l ater he was detailed to the Ordnance
Proving Ground, Maryland, in the fall of 1939, and at Langley Field,
Virginia, in the spring of 1940. Assigned to the Panama Canal Department, he
became Base Ordnance Officer, France Field, CZ, in April 1940.
Following the outbreak of World War II, he became
Ordnance Officer, XXVI Fighter Command, Albrook Field, CZ, and in August
1942 was assigned as Ordnance Officer, AAF I Concentration Command,
Cincinnati, Ohio. He attended the Command and General Staff School from
November 1942 to February 1943. On graduation he went to the Air Service
Command, Patterson Field, Ohio for duty in the Ordnance Section of that
headquarters. In March 1944 he was ordered to Europe and served until June
1944 in Headquarters United States Strategic Air Forces in England. On 6
June 1944 he became Ordinance Officer, IX Tactical Air Command, remaining in
that capacity throughout the operations in France, Belgium, Holland and
From October 1945 to May 1947, General Cone served in
the Ordnance Section, Headquarters US Forces, European Theater, in
Frankfurt, Germany. On his return to the United States in June 1947, he was
assigned as Commanding Officer, Detroit Ordnance District, Detroit,
Michigan. In August 1951 he was ordered to General Staff duty in Washington,
DC in the office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4, and in 1952 became
the Chief, Purchases Branch, Procurement Division, of that office.
Selected for attendance at the Army War College,
Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, General Cone served there from August 1955
to June 1956. From August 1956 to April 1958 he was on duty at Oppama
Ordnance Depot, Japan, successively as Deputy for Operations, later as
Commanding Officer, and ultimately in command of all Ordnance Depots in
Japan. He became Ordnance Officer, US Army, Japan, stationed at Camp Zama,
in April 1958 and remained there until December 1958.
Returning to the United States he was assigned as
Commanding Officer, Anniston Ordnance Depot, Anniston, Alabama, from January
1959 until August 1960. He was ordered to the Office, Chief of Ordnance,
Washington, DC, in August 1960, and in October 1960 was assigned to duty as
Chief, Plans and Programs Division of that office. On 20 June 1962 General
Cone was assigned as Director of Maintenance, Supply and Maintenance
Command, Headquarters, Washington, D. C.
He became Director of Quality Assurance, Hqs, US Army
Materiel Command, Washington, DC, on 1 May 1964.