John T. McNaughton had just been appointed Secretary Of The Navy in 1967 when the Boeing 727 that he was flying on (along with his wife and one son) collided with a smaller Cessna airplane just after departing from Asheville, North Carolina. McNaughton was a native of Pekin. He served in WWII. He went to law school after the war, advancing to become a professor of law at Harvard. He was a close adviser to Robert McNamara. McNaughton planned the Rolling Thunder bombing campaign and developed the theory of Vietnamization. As a youth, McNaughton often walked across the old Pekin Bridge, so it was fitting that the new Pekin Bridge was named in his honor.