Brig. Gen. Frederick G. Waite was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 4, 1907. He entered active duty with the United States Army in February 1941, and from January 1942, was assigned to a succession of increasingly responsible ordnance assignments in the Southwest Pacific Area Theatre.
His conduct of ordnance operations, both in Australia and in New Guinea over a period of two years, and his planning and conducting of the ordnance mission in General MacArthur's invasion of Leyte in the Philippines were among his outstanding accomplishments. Among the latter were his plans and outfitting of four 265-foot concrete barges, which were used as floating maintenance shops. These were used in addition to a 2,500-ton depot barge, designed to supplement maintenance facilities. A highly acclaimed thesis on the subject of Ordnance Service Support Problems in Tropical Warfare, which drew upon his World War II experiences of the damaging effects of heat and moisture on materiel in World War II, was submitted to the faculty of the Armed Forces Staff College while he was a student there in 1950.
Following several years service in the Office, Secretary of Defense, where he provided development of defense policies for NATO, he converted the Terre Haute Ordnance Depot into an Air Force production equipment center and then assumed command of Letterkenny Ordnance Depot, then the largest distribution depot within the Ordnance Corps. He successfully reorganized the depot, streamlining and expediting management, decision-making, and operations. He successively served as Ordnance Officer for the U.S. Eighth Army in Korea, as Ordnance Officer for U.S. Forces in Korea, and finally as Ordnance Officer for the United Nations Command.
He was responsible, among other things, for the ordnance readiness of the Republic of Korea forces and the Turkish forces in Korea. He served for a time on the UN Armistice Commission representing the U.S. Army in negotiations with the Communist forces. He then coordinated the phase-down of ordnance operations in Japan.
In his final assignment, as Ordnance Officer for Headquarters, U.S. Army Pacific, he oversaw expansion of ordnance activities at the U.S. Army Logistical Depot, which provided support to Military Assistance Pacific recipient countries in the Western Pacific. General Waite retired from the Army in 1962 and died on November 23, 1985.