KY National Guard History eMuseum

Conaway, Lt. Gen. John B. (Ret)

(1934 - )

John B. Conaway
John B. Conaway

Lieutenant General John B. Conaway was chief of the National Guard Bureau, Washington, D.C. He was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the National Guard Bureau, including supervision of the Army and Air directorates, as well as the joint staff.

After graduating from Bosse High School in Evansville, Ind., in 1952 he attended the University of Evansville and earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration in 1956. He continued graduate work at the University of Louisville School of Business and the University of Kentucky School of Business. In 1975 he earned a master's degree in management and human relations from Webster College. General Conaway completed U.S. Air Force Commanders Safety School in 1969, Air Command and Staff College in 1971, Air University Commanders School in 1972 and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1973.

While attending the University of Evansville, General Conaway entered the Reserve Officer Training Corps program and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force in June 1956. In 1957, after completing basic pilot training at Greenville Air Force Base, Miss., he attended advanced combat crew training at Perrin Air Force Base, Texas, graduating in 1958. His next assignments were as an F-102 fighter-interceptor pilot in the Air Defense Command at K.I. Sawyer and Kincheloe Air Force bases, Mich.

In 1960 General Conaway joined the West Virginia Air National Guard as an SA-16 pilot, flying a special forces operations mission. In 1963 he transferred to the Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, Louisville, as an RB-57 pilot and, in 1965, became an air technician flying training instructor in operations, flying RF-101s.

He was called to active duty with the Kentucky Air National Guard in January 1968 and served in Alaska, Panama, Japan and Korea. Upon its deactivation in June 1969, he returned to the Kentucky Air National Guard as operations officer.

In October 1972 General Conaway was appointed air commander of the Kentucky Air National Guard. In December 1974 he was appointed vice commander of the 123rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, which had units in Kentucky, Arkansas, Nevada and Idaho. Other assignments Included duty as wing director of operations, wing chief of safety, wing chief of standardization and evaluation, group commander, group deputy commander for operations, and squadron operations officer.

General Conaway was recalled to active duty as deputy director of the Air National Guard in April 1977 and in April 1981 became director. He was reappointed director in April 1985, and then became vice chief in July 1988. He was appointed to his current position in February 1990.

The general is a command pilot with more than 6,500 flying hours In the C-21, C-22, C-47, C-54, C-130, C-1 31, SA-16, F-15, F-16. F-86, F-102, KC-135, RB-57, RF-4C, RF-101, T-28, T-29, T-33, T-34, T-39 and T-43 aircraft. His military awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award Ribbon, Combat Readiness Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Force Recognition Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal with service star, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with four oak leaf clusters, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with two hourglass devices, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Air Force Training Ribbon and Kentucky Distinguished Service Medal. He is also the recipient of the Air Force's Eugene M. Zuckert Management Award, Air Force Association's Citation of Honor, Selective Service System Exceptional Service Award and the Air National Guard's Order of the Sword. In 1986 General Conaway received an honorary doctor of laws degree from his alma mater, the University of Evansville. The general was elected to the board of trustees of the University of Evansville in 1988.

He was promoted and federally recognized as a lieutenant general March 1, 1990. He retired from the military Nov 30, 1993.

[Information submitted by Chief Master Sergeant Jim Turpin 28 August 2003]

KyANG Headquarters Named In Conaway's Honor
Conaway KyANG Headquarters Building
Conaway KyANG Headquarters Building
The Kentucky Air National Guard's Headquarters Building, located at the Kentucky Air Naitonal Guard Base on Louisville's Standiford Feild, was named in honor of Lt Gen John Conaway during a ceremony on October 22, 2006


Last Updated 8/16/2007