Brig.Gen. Joel G. Holmes was born in Forked River, New Jersey in August 1892.
As Chief of the Ammunition Branch, Office Chief of Ordnance from 1940 to 1943, he had responsibility for the design, construction and operation of all government owned and contractor operated shell, bomb, and bag loading plants in the U.S. In mid-1943, he was made Deputy Ordnance Officer for the European Theater of Operations in Europe.
In this assignment, he was responsible for the enormous buildup of Ordnance materiel in preparation for the invasion of France and subsequent campaigns in Europe. His task involved supplying allied forces as well as American troops.
From February until September 1945, he was Chief of the Technical Division, Ordnance Service Office and Chief Ordnance Officer, Headquarters, European Theater of Operations. Following a short tour as Chief of the Chicago Ordnance District, he completed his Army service as Field Director of Ammunition Plants and Commanding General of the Ordnance Ammunition Center, Joliet Arsenal, Illinois.
Here, he was responsibile for the supervision and operation of all Ordnance Department ammunition manufacturing facilities in the U.S. With the coming of the Korean Conflict, he was responsible for the procurement of large numbers of ammunition requests from industrial plants in the U.S. to meet mobilization requirements.
General Holmes retired in 1952 after 39 years' service and died in 1970.