CARLETON HEALEY (Colonel, USAF)
his daughter, Sharon Healey Bartholomew
John (Jack) Carleton
Healey was born to Anthony Mark Healey and Louise Rita Ryan Healey on
November 7, 1910, in London, Ontario, Canada, the youngest of four
children. Anthony and Louise were U.S. citizens who lived in Battle
Creek, MI; they were visiting relatives in Canada when he was born.
Jack graduated from St.
Philip’s Elementary School and Battle Creek Central High School (Class of
1931) in Battle Creek, MI. He enrolled in the University of Michigan, Ann
Arbor, where he majored in political science and psychology. He was the
editor of the campus newspaper, a member of Michigamua, a campus honor
society (president of Michigamua during his senior year), and was Cadet
Major for the Reserve Officers Training Corps. He was commissioned a
reserve second lieutenant in the U.S. Army upon graduation in 1935.
For the next four years,
Jack worked as a newspaper reporter for The Herald and Review in Decatur,
IL, the Item-Tribune in New Orleans, LA, and the Enquirer & News in Battle
Creek, MI. He was assistant city editor of the latter when ordered to
active duty as mobilization began prior to America’s entry into World War
He was assigned to the
Construction Division of the Army Corps of Engineers with duty at Fort
Custer, Michigan, the Illinois Ordnance Plant in Southern Illinois, and
the Granite City Engineer Depot in Granite City, Illinois, during the
construction or expansion of those facilities. He was then transferred to
the Fairbanks, Alaska District of the Corps of Engineers, which office
supervised the construction of that part of the Alaska Highway north of
the Canadian border.
Upon his return to the United States, he was
assigned to the headquarters of the Manhattan Project in Washington, D.C.,
on the staff of General Leslie R. Groves, during the atomic bomb
development program. He remained in the military atomic energy program
for the next seven years, moving from the Manhattan Project after World
War II to the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project. During this period,
he transferred from the Army to the Air Force, when the latter become
autonomous, and was integrated into the Regular Air Force from the
reserve. While assigned to the Manhattan Project, Colonel Healey had the
Assistant to the District
Military Personnel Officer
Personnel Staff Officer
Intelligence Officer, 509th
Composite Group, 20th Air Force (Marshall Islands)
Assistant to the Director
Deputy Chief, Personnel &
Chief, Personnel &
Operation Sandstone –
As liaison officer and
assistant to the director of personnel for the Manhattan Project, Jack was
responsible for coordinating and expediting all personnel activities of
the District with Major General Leslie R. Groves, Chief of the Atomic Bomb
Project, and with other War Department Headquarters, such as the Office,
Chief of Engineers, the Military Personnel Division of ASF, the Adjutant
General’s Office, as well as the National Headquarters Selective Service
and the Department of Labor. On occasion, he also made presentations to
members of the War Department General Staff.
Liaison with these various
offices was essential since the Manhattan District Project had no definite
channel of command for all functions but was largely directed by the
Secretary of War through Major General Leslie R. Groves. Personal contact
with these various offices was necessary in the performance of the
following functions: (a) procurement of specialized military and civilian
personnel; (b) procurement and administration of officer personnel,
including the interviewing of prospects and the requesting of War
Department orders; (c) the appeal of deferment cases to the Presidential
Appeal Board; (d) expediting and interpreting to District Headquarters the
various directives issued by the War Department, Department of Labor, and
Selective Service. In the performance of these duties, Jack was required
to confer with high-ranking officials in the War Department and other
government agencies in securing special authorities and exceptions to
current regulations necessary because of the highly confidential nature of
Manhattan District activities. Personnel employed either directly or
indirectly by the Manhattan District were as follows: 80,000 scientific
and industrial personnel, 648 officers, 4,500 enlisted personnel and 4,185
Civil Service employees.
Jack was directly in
charge of all personnel activities of the Washington Liaison Office,
including the issuance of travel orders, the administration of civilian
and military personnel and compliance with personnel directives peculiar
to the Military District of Washington. He was responsible for the
procurement of officer, enlisted and civilian personnel, skilled labor for
contractors, deferment of essential civilian employees, labor relations
and general administration of the District’s military personnel.
Colonel Healey’s next
assignment was as deputy for personnel and administration with the 4th
Air Force at Hamilton Air Force Base, California, after which he was
transferred to Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, where he was vice commander of
the 18th Fighter-Bomber Wing, and the deputy commander and
later commander of Kadena Air Base.
Following completion of
that tour of duty, he was assigned to the staff of the Air War College at
Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, as the project officer, evaluation.
Subsequent tours of duty were at McClellan Air Force Base, Sacramento,
California (director of personnel and administration), and Robins Air
Force Base, Warner Robins, Georgia, where he was chief, personnel and
Jack retired in 1968 and
moved to Virginia Beach, VA. He enrolled in the College of William and
Mary in Williamsburg, VA, where he earned a master’s degree and then
worked in industrial education and training programs until retiring
completely a few years later.
He was a member of Old
Donation Episcopal Church in Virginia Beach, VA; the Harbor Club in
Norfolk, VA; Alpha Delta Phi fraternity; Michigamua, an honor society at
the University of Michigan, and the alumni associations of the University
of Michigan and the College of William and Mary.
Jack loved old movies, music, football and golf. He
particularly loved rooting for the University of Michigan’s football team,
and he played golf well into his 80’s.
Jack married Mary Lyons Gorton of Flint, MI in June
1941 in Bryan, Ohio. Two children: Sharon Healey Bartholomew (of
Anaheim, CA) and Michael Gorton Healey (of Poquoson, VA). Mary died in
May 1952 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
He married Mary Boothe Francis Vandenberg of Virginia
at Bolling AFB on March 7, 1953.
Colonel Healey had eight grandchildren and six
He died on May 27, 1996, in Virginia Beach, VA, and
is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Healey is sometimes incorrectly shown as Healy in some records.
Healey is correct.
Carleton is sometimes spelled Carelton. Carleton is correct.
Colonel Healey’s birth date was originally thought to be November 7,
1912. In 1942, all records were corrected to show his birth date as
1910. 1910 is correct.