Lieutenant General John H. Hinrichs was born in Sandy Hook, New Jersey on July 10, 1904 and graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1928.
As Chief of Ordnance from April 1958 to May 1962, he was responsible for the vertical command and control and technical direction of the extremely complex and diverse activities of the Ordnance Corps worldwide. During his tenure, the Ordnance Corps was the Army’s Acquisition Manager and responsible for spending 85 percent of the Army’s procurement budget on weapons and munitions. His domain included munitions storage and maintenance at ordnance depots and materiel maintenance at arsenal complexes located throughout the world.
The missile weaponry of the Army made its greatest advancement in research, development, and production while he was Chief. He guided the Army’s effort of microminiaturization in electronics and nuclear weapons and the development and introduction of the M48A1 tank program. He laid the groundwork for the Ordnance Corps’ role in the establishment of the Supply and Maintenance Command and the Materiel Command, which were then the logistics organizations of the future. His contributions to the science of management have made a significant impact on the role of the Ordnance Corps. He truly provided outstanding leadership and professionalism. General Hinrichs retired in 1962 and died on February 13, 1990.