Died May 11,1990
Lieutenant General David Wade is commander of Eighth Air Force with headquarters at Westover Air Force Base, Mass. As commander, he is responsible for a mixed force of bombers, tankers and missiles, dispersed in a geographical area extending south from Goose Bay, Labrador, to Ramey Air Force Base, Puerto Rico, and west from Loring Air Force Base, Maine, to Clinton-Sherman Air Force Base, Okla.
General Wade was born in 1911, in Minden, La. His formal education culminated at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute, Ruston, La., where he majored in engineering. He entered the Army Air Corps as a cadet in February 1935,and underwent pilot training at Randolph Field, Texas. After graduation in late 1935, he served as a pilot with additional squadron duties until late 1941.
From November 1941 until October 1943, General Wade served as the assistant director and later as the director of training at Big Spring, Texas. He then assumed duties as commanding officer, 34th Combat Crew Training School and later commanding officer of the 9th Bomb Group, Blythe, Calif., and Walla Walla, Wash., until March 1945, when he was assigned as the deputy commander of the 320th Bomb Wing, Sacramento, Calif.
In August 1945, General Wade began a 26-month tour of duty in the South Pacific area serving as commander of the 9th Bombardment Group in the Marianas and the Philippines until April 1947. He was then assigned as commander of the 19th Bombardment Group on Guam until November 1947, when he returned to the United States.
General Wade entered the Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, Va., upon his return to the United States and after graduation in July 1948, became vice commander of the U.S. Air Force Security Service at Brooks Air Force Base, Texas, where he remained until June 1950. He was then assigned as deputy commander of the 93rd Bombardment Wing, Castle Air Force Base, Calif.
April 1951 found General Wade in Japan where he took command of the 98th Bombardment Wing and the responsibility of the strategic bombing of targets in North Korea. He remained in Japan until later September 1951, when he returned to the United States and took command of the 303rd Bombardment Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.
On Feb. 18, 1952, the general was named commander of the 92d Bombardment Wing at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. He remained in this assignment until November when he took command of the 57th Air Division at Fairchild.
Command of the 21st Air Division with headquarters at Forbes Air Force Base, Kan., was the general's next assignment in April 1954. He remained there until April 1955, when he was reassigned to Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., as inspector general. He moved up to chief of staff in July 1956.
The first day of 1958 found General Wade Commander of the 1st Missile Division at Cooke (now Vandenberg) Air Force Base, Calif. The General's responsibilities in this assignment were unique in that he commanded the first operational missile unit in Air Force history. He had the dual responsibility of maintaining an operational capability with intercontinental ballistic missile systems while providing operational readiness training for the missile crews that man the SAC missile sites and support the development of Discoverer, Samos, and Midas orbiting satellite programs.
From Vandenberg, General Wade went to Torrejon Air Base near Madrid, Spain, in July 1961, and took command of SAC's Sixteenth Air Force.
On Aug. 1, 1963, the general was promoted to lieutenant general and assumed command of SAC's Second Air Force with headquarters at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. General Wade took command of the Eighth Air Force on Aug. 1, 1966.
Military decorations awarded to General Wade included the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Soldier's Medal, Air Medal with oak leaf cluster and Air Force Commendation Medal.
(Current as of Oct. 1, 1966)