graduate

Magruder, John (1887-1958)


Photograph of John Magruder

©Virginia Military Institute Archives

All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Magruder was a graduate (and later commandant) of Virginia Military Institute who spent much of his career in staff or military attaché assignments. He was the head of the American military mission to China at the time war broke out in the Pacific. Chosen for the post because he was a general officer who had previously served as military attaché in China (the only other officer so qualified being Stilwell), his nominal role was directing the flow of Lend-Lease supplies to the Kuomintang. However, he was also responsible for securing the logistics to support the American Volunteer Group and to advise Chiang Kai-shek on use of Lend-Lease while discretely acting to ensure that Lend-Lease supplies were not wasted or misused. (It was Magruder who first voiced the suspicion that Chiang was hoarding Lend-Lease against a civil war with the Communists rather than using it to fight the Japanese.) He was directed to work directly with Chiang and was not authorized to engage in staff conversations, but was to transmit all proposals to Washington without comment. This proved to be a nearly unworkable assignment.

Magruder was recalled to the States in 1943 and thereafter served with the OSS.

Service record

1887-6-3     

Born in Woodstock, Virginia
1909

Graduates from Virginia Military Institute
1910
Second leiutenant     
Commissioned in the infantry
1911

Transfers to the artillery
1918
Major
120 Field Artillery Regiment, France
1920

Assistant military attaché , Peking
1925

Command and General Staff College
1926

Military attaché , Peking
1930

Army War College
1932

Commandant, Virginia Military Institute
1935

Military attaché , Switzerland
1938

Chief, Intelligence Division, War Department
1939
Colonel

1940
Brigadier general

1941

Commander, artillery, 1 Division
1941

Chief, American Military Mission to China
1943

Headquarters, Service of Supply
1943

Deputy director, Intelligence, OSS
1944

Public Relations, War Department
1944

Deputy director, Intelligence, OSS
1945

Director, Strategic Services Unit, War Department
1946-10-31     

Retires
1958-4-30

Dies

References

Arlington National Cemetary Website (accessed 2008-10-10)

Peattie et al. (2011)

Romanus and Sunderland (1952; accessed 2012-9-1)



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