Lieutenant Colonel Natale Cancilla was born on December 25, 1908 and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1934.
His contributions to ordnance have had lasting effects. His plan to increase the production of tanks during World War II was conceived and implemented in the face of great resistance and opposition. The antiquated, costly, and time-consuming product mobilization plan in effect at the beginning of World War II lacked the necessary logistical support. His plan was based on the fact that the United States had the resources for armor production and there was some semblance of a production mobilization plan.
Colonel Cancilla knew there existed an abundance of production equipment and machinery scattered throughout the country. His plan called for locating the necessary machinery, diversifying the tank production and assembly process, and bringing together the right companies with the machines and equipment necessary to make them part of a production team.
In less than one year, armor plate and armor casting were available to meet President Roosevelt's established production goals. Colonel Cancilla’s plan saved enormous sums of money and production time by integrating committees and project officers into the project management process. His dedication and loyalty exemplify the traits of a professional Ordnance officer. His contributions have certainly added to the long list of significant deeds attributable to the Ordnance Corps.