Niblo, Urban

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Niblo, Urban “Nib”  born 20-11-1897 in Galveston, Texas, from Henry Grady Niblo and Mary Anna Fahner, like so many Texans nothing came too big for him for he always found means to accomplish his mission and obtain his objectives. He was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy from Texas, graduating in November 1918, continuing at the Academy as a student officer until June 1919 when he was commissioned in the Field Artillery. During World War II, based upon his experience in the field, he overhauled the ordnance supply service to eliminate shortages and devised a flexible ordnance service concept called Uninterrupted Ordnance Service. Brigadier General Urban Niblo reorganized the ordnance structure in the field

and established The Ordnance Group to administer and command the system. This operational concept worked so well during World War II that afterward it was incorporated as the standard organization of ordnance service in the field Army. Its great advantage was the flexibility offered to meet the ever-changing demands of battle commanders. He became a Lieutenant Colonel on 15-09-1941 and Ordnance Executive Officer of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, until 06-10-1941. Post Ordnance Officer in Fort Sill, Oklahomauntil 30-03-1942 meanwhile a Colonel from 01-02-1942. In this latter assignment “Nib” recognized the true meaning of Ordnance Service in the Field. Ordnance Officer with the  II Corps  in England and North Africa from April 1942 until February 1943. Then Army Ordnance Commander with the 5th  Army, nickname “Contraband”  under 4* General, Mark Clark

  in Italy, until June 1945, meanwhile since 10-11-1944 a Brigadier General. He continued his career as Chief Ordnance Officer in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, until 31-08-1945. for his Italian service was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. At the end of hostilities in Europe, “Nib” applied for and received his reassignment to the Pacific, but V J Day caught him enroute and he was reassigned as Ordnance Officer, Fourth Army at Fort Sam Houston. Ordnance Officer with the 4th Army under 2* Major General, John “Old Luke” Lucas

  , until 30-06-1946 and finally Chief Ordnance Officer with the US Army Forces in the Pacific. Prior to the Korean incident “Nib” was assigned as Chief Ordnance Officer, GHQ, Far East Command. Here he was responsible both for the establishment of extensive rebuild facilities in Japan and for the concept and implementation of Operation Roll Up. This latter operation encompassed the movement of all Ordnance equipment scattered on the many island bases throughout the Pacific to Japan and its rebuild or rehabilitation at Tokyo Armament Centre, Tokyo Engineering Works or Oppama. Fortunately this operation was in its final stages when the Korean action began. Both the South Korean and U.S. Forces were equipped and supplied from this program during the early phases of the action. Not only was he able to supply the forces in Korea from Japan, but “Nib” was again able to appreciably influence, by his zeal for true service, the Ordnance support furnished to the troops in combat. Upon his return to the United States after the Korean fighting had ceased he was assigned to Headquarters, Army Field Forces and later became Deputy Commandant of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. General Niblo retired from service on 30-09-1955. After retirement he settled in Washington, D.C., and kept busy by taking a position with Dresser Industries, which he held until his death. In 1921 he was married to Katherine Earl of El Paso, Texas. They had two daughters, Virginia Fahner married to J. Richard Browder now living in Falls Church, Virginia, and Katharine Elizabeth married to Kyle W. Bowie now living at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Death and burial ground of Niblo, Urban.

th (3) died on 11-08-1957, ager 59, at Walter Reed Army Medical Centre after a short illness. Brigadier General Niblo, a former Chief Ordnance Officer, United Nations Command, during 1950-51, was inventive, vigorous, and resourceful. He was inducted into the Ordnance Corps Hall of Fame in 1969. He had very definite opinions concerning the organization of ordnance service. Urban Niblo is buried on Arlington National Cemetery in Section 1.

   

 

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