Keith Barr McCutcheon
United States of America
1915 - 1971
Marine General Keith Barr McCutcheon was born in East Liverpool, Ohio, on Aug.10, 1915. He graduated from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1937 and in the same year was commissioned in the Marines, completing his flight training in 1940. He also earned a master's degree in aeronautical engineering at MIT.
Gen. McCutcheon, who became a full general on July 1 by special legislation passed by Congress and was placed on the retirement list on that day also, was the third military career man to head the Society. Holder of many decorations, Gen. McCutcheon's 34 years of Marine Corps service included dive bomber pilot, commander of the first helicopter squadron to see action in Korea, and an earlier tour in Vietnam, June 1965 to June 1966, when he served as commanding general of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing and deputy commander of the amphibious forces he later headed.
October 1970 he was appointed by President Nixon to become assistant commandant of the Marine Corps. His ebbing health, however, prevented him from ever filling the position. Gen. McCutcheon's decorations included three Distinguished Service Medals, the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Holder of 10 Air Medals, he also had been decorated by the governments of Korea and Vietnam.
Marine General Keith Barr McCutcheon, the Society's 1969-70 president, Haueter Award winner, and a man instrumental in the founding of its first Asian Chapter- MAG 16, in the Republic of Vietnam - died July 13, 1971. A victim of cancer, he was forced to return to the US in January from Vietnam, where he had commanded the III Marine Amphibious Force, said to number about 40,000 men. One of his last public appearances was at the AHS 27th Annual National Forum Membership Luncheon, where he heard the guest speaker laud him as "singularly tall in stature" as a military pioneer in operations who saw the potential of the helicopter and applied it. He had been a member of the Society since April 15, 1968.
Obituary (pg-33): Vertflite July/August 1971