26 October 1971 — Arlington National Cemetery
Hugh Johnston Knerr graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1908 and served as an ensign in the United States Navy until 1911. He commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Coast Artillery Corps of the United States Army on 28 September 1911.
Knerr entered a pilot training slot in 1917. Over the next two decades he flew observation and bombardment aircraft, while also acquiring a reputation as an excellent administrator. When the GHQ Air Force was formed in 1935, he was selected as chief of staff. Unfortunately, Knerr also had a reputation as an outspoken advocate of strategic airpower. As a result, in 1939 he was banished to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, to the same position occupied by Billy Mitchell the previous decade. Knerr chose to retire.
After the United States entered World War II, Knerr was called back to active duty as a colonel in July 1942, and sent to Europe as the Eighth Air Forces deputy commander for administration. Knerr was promoted to major general in March 1944. He retired again after the war, but due to a scandal involving a senior officer, he was activated once again in 1947 and became the first inspector general of the Air Force. He retired a third time in 1949.