Pace, Frank, Jr.,

secarmy   secarmy




The Army had a brand-new secretary, Frank Pace, Jr., who had replaced Gordon Gray on April 19 [see list below]. When he took office, Pace was only thirty-seven years old, the second youngest man in the history of the Army to hold that post. He was a tall, skinny, glib, handsome, glad-handing, wealthy lawyer politician from Arkansas who (the rumors went) would help Louis Johnson's 1952 presidential bid in the South. A graduate of Princeton, Pace had been an Air Force transport pilot in World War II. After the war he had become a rising star in the Truman administration, serving an apprenticeship in the Justice and Post Office departments before moving over to the Bureau of the Budget. There he soon became right-hand man to Budget Director James E. Webb, a dedicated fiscal conservative who was the administration's foremost advocate for cutting Pentagon budgets.




FRANK PACE, JR., was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, on 5 July 1912;

attended local schools and then the Hill School, Pottstown, Pennsylvania;

graduated from Princeton University, 1933;

received a new degree from Harvard University, 1936;

was admitted to the Arkansas bar and practiced law there, 1936­1942;

was assistant district attorney of the Twelfth Judicial District, 1936­1938;

was general attorney, Arkansas Revenue Department, 1938­1940;

married Margaret Janney, 1940;

entered the Army as a second lieutenant, 1942;

served in the Air Transport Command, Army Air Corps, and emerged as a major, 1945;

was a special assistant to the Attorney General, U.S. Taxation Division, 1946;

was executive assistant to the Postmaster General, 1946­1948;

was assistant director, 1948, then director, 1949­1950, of the Bureau of the Budget;


served as Secretary of the Army, 12 April 1950­20 January 1953;

executed the structural and functional changes mandated by the Army Organization Act of 1950 and headed the Army during the Korean War, 1950­1953; implemented policies to broaden the Army's utilization of Negro manpower; elevated research and development to the Deputy Chief of Staff level; was chairman of the Defense Ministers Conference, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), 1950; was chairman of the American Council of NATO, 1957­1960; was vice chairman, President­s Commission on National Goals, 1959­1960; was a member of the President­s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, 1961­1973; was chairman of the board, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, 1968­1972; was a member and past president of the National Institute of Social Sciences and a member of the Brookings Institution; died in Greenwich, Connecticut, on 8 January 1988.


Description: In this photograph, high ranking Department of Army members, Commanding Generals of six Stateside Army Areas, and other field commanders, meet with Secretary of the the Army, Frank Pace and General J. Lawton Collins, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army at the Pentagon. Front row, left to right:
Lieutenant General Maxwell D. Taylor; Lieutenant General Joseph M. Swing; General John R. Hodge; General J. Lawton Collins; Secretary Frank Pace; General John E. Hull; General Edward H. Brooks; Lieutenant General William M. Hoge; Lieutenant General John W. O'Daniel.
Back row, left to right:
Major General Edward T. Williams; Major General William M. Miley; Major General Leland S. Hobbs; Lieutenant General William B. Kean; Lieutenant General George H. Decker; Lieutenant General Horace McBride; Lieutenant General Alexander R. Bolling; Lieutenant General Lyman L. Lemnitzer; Major General Lester J. Whitlock; Major General Edwin K. Wright; and Brigadier General Frederic L. Hayden.
Date: December 02, 1952
Related Collection: Frank Pace Papers
ARC Keywords: Armed forces officers; Cabinet officers; Generals


Collins, J. Lawton (Joseph Lawton), 1896-1987;

Hodge, J. R. (John Reed), 1893-1963;

Lemnitzer, Lyman L. (Lyman Louis), 1899-;

Pace, Frank, 1912-1988;

Taylor, Maxwell D. (Maxwell Davenport), 1901-1987;

Brooks, Edward H. (Edward Hale), 1893-1978;

Bolling, A. R. (Alexander Russell), 1895-1964;

Swing, Joseph (Joseph May), 1894-1987;

Decker, George Henry, 1902-1980;

Hobbs, Leland S. (Leland Stanford), 1892-1966;

Kean, William B. (William Benjamin), 1897-1981;

Whitlock, Lester J. (Lester Johnson), 1892-1971;

Williams, E. T. (Edward Thomas), 1901-1973;

O'Daniel, John W. (John Wilson), 1894-1975;

Hayden, Frederic L. (Frederic Lord), 1901-1969;

McBride, Horace L. (Horace Logan), 1894-1962;

Hoge, William M., 1894-1979;

Hull, John Edwin, 1895-1975;

Miley, William M. (William Maynadler), 1897-1997;

Wright, Edwin K. (Edwin Kennedy), 1898-1983



 June 26, 1950 0915


1915 Washington Time

Secretary of State Acheson was waiting for me at the airport as was Secretary of Defense Johnson. We hurried to Blair House where we were joined by Secretary of the Army Frank Pace. & Secretary of the Navy Francis Matthews; Secretary of the Air Force Thomas Finletter General of the Army Omar N. Bradley; the Army Chief General Collins; the Air Force Chief General Vandenberg; and Admiral Forrest Sherman Chief of Naval Operations.

Dean Acheson was accompanied by Undersecretaries Webb and Rusk and Assistant Secretary John Hickerson and Ambassador- at-Large Philip Jessup. It was late and we went at once to the dining room for dinner. I asked that no discussion take place until dinner was ended and over and the Blair House staff had withdrawn.

Earlier that Sunday evening. Acheson reported, the Security Council of the United Nations had, by a vote of nine to nothing, approved a resolution declaring that a breach of the peace had been committed by the North Korean action and ordering the North Koreans to cease action and withdraw their forces.

I then called on Acheson to present the recommendations which the State and Defense Departments had prepared. He presented the following recommendations for immediate action:

 1) That MacArthur should evacuate the Americans from Korea --including the dependents of the military mission and, in order to do so, should keep open the Kimp'o and other airports, repelling all hostile attacks thereon. In doing this, his air forces should stay south of the 38th Parallel.

2) MacArthur should be instructed to get ammunition and supplies to the Korean army by airdrop and otherwise.

3) That the Seventh Fleet should be ordered into the Formosa Strait to prevent the conflict from spreading to that area.  We should make a statement that the fleet would repel any attack on Formosa and that no attacks should be made from Formosa on the mainland.

At this point I interrupted to say that the Seventh Fleet should be ordered north at once, but that I wanted to withhold making any statement until the fleet was in position. After this report I asked each person in turn to state his agreement or disagreement and any views he might have in addition.

Two things stand out in this discussion.

One was the complete, almost unspoken acceptance on the part of everyone that whatever had to be done to meet this aggression had to be done. There was no suggestion from anyone that either the United Nations or the United States could back away from it.

The other point which stands out was the difference in view of what might be called for Vandenberg and Sherman thought that air and naval aid might be enough. Collins said that if the Korean army was really broken, ground forces would be necessary.

I expressed the opinion that the Russians were trying to get Korea by default gambling that we would be afraid of starting a third world war and would offer no resistance. I thought that we were still holding the stronger hand, although how much stronger it was hard to tell.


At 1915 hours that [Saturday] night [1915+1400=3315-2400=0915] the President landed at Washington and drove directly to his temporary residence at Blair House. Here were assembled the key officers of the Departments of State and Defense, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff: General Omar Bradley (chairman), General J. Lawton Collins (Army), Admiral Forrest P Sherman (Navy), and General Hoyt S. Vandenberg (Air Force). Most of the talk over the dinner table reflected a hope that the South Koreans could hold with the help of American arms and equipment which General MacArthur was sending them. The main theme of conversation, however, was that the Communists appeared to be repeating patterns of aggression similar to those acts which had set off World War II.
After dinner President Truman opened the conference with the statement that he did not wish to make decisions that night, except such as were immediately necessary. Secretary Acheson then presented three recommendations which had been prepared by the State and Defense Departments:

1) that MacArthur would send arms and ammunition to Korea,

2) that MacArthur would furnish ships and planes to assist and protect the evacuation of American dependents from Korea, and

3) that the U.S. Seventh Fleet would be ordered northward from the Philippines to report to MacArthur.

 Truman asked for comments, and the discussion worked around to what the United States might have to do to save South Korea. Vandenberg and Sherman thought that air and naval aid might be enough. Collins stated that if the ROK Army was really broken, American ground forces would be needed. At the end of the meeting President Truman directed that orders be issued implementing the three recommendations made by the State and Defense Departments.#74    

June 26, 1950 12:30 PM

6/25/50  10:30 PM Washington 6/26/50 12:30 PM

[About noon, Monday, in Korea,] Truman returned to Washington that Sunday evening, June 25. En route he summoned his chief Pentagon and State advisers to a meeting that night at Blair House, the president's temporary home and office during the renovation of the White House. Thirteen senior officials gathered at Blair House for a fried chicken dinner and urgent talks. Of the thirteen, the majority - eight - were from the Pentagon. These included Louis Johnson and Omar Bradley, returned from the aircraft carrier demonstration in Norfolk, the three service secretaries - Frank Matthews, Frank Pace, and Tom Finletter - and the three military chiefs - Collins, Vandenberg, and Sherman.[3-17]

Confident that the ROK Army would push back the NKPA, the Pentagon contingent had a larger Far East worry that night: Formosa. Recently the Chinese Communists had taken Hainan Island and had amassed 200,000 troops on the mainland opposite Formosa. The Pentagon advisers believed that the NKPA invasion in Korea might possibly be a feint to divert attention and resources from a Chinese Communist invasion of Formosa. Johnson and Bradley, armed with a long and eloquent study paper from MacArthur urging American support for Formosa, took advantage of the crisis atmosphere to push for a reversal of the Truman-Acheson hands-off Formosa policy. On Johnson's instructions, the ailing Bradley read the entire MacArthur paper, and Johnson recommended (as the JCS had the previous December) that an American survey team be authorized to go to Formosa to find out what was required to maintain the security of the island.[3-18]