MAJOR GENERAL WILLARD W. MILLIKAN
Died October 20,1978
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Maj. Gen. Willard W. Millikan is commander of the 833rd Air Division with headquarters at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. Assuming command of the division in April 1968, General Millikan is responsible for the overall surveillance and control of operational forces throughout the division. He commands the division's three regular Air Force wings: the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson; the 113th Tactical Fighter Wing, Myrtle Beach AFB, S.C.; the 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, Shaw AFB, S.C., and four recently recalled Air National Guard fighter groups. The division also includes seven ANG fighter and electronic warfare groups.
Born in Hamburg, Iowa, in 1918, General Millikan attended Peru State College in Nebraska for two years before he enlisted in the Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet in 1941. He served as an aviation cadet until October 1941 when he accepted a discharge after failing to pass flight checks. He then enlisted in the Royal Air Force where he earned his pilot wings. While in the RAF, he flew combat missions in Hurricane and Spitfire fighters, as a flying sergeant.
General Millikan reentered the Army Air Corps in October 1942 as a second lieutenant in England. In February 1943 he joined the 4th Fighter Group at Debden, England. Progressing from second lieutenant to captain, he became commander of the 336th Fighter Squadron of the 4th Fighter Group. During this period, General Millikan succeeded in destroying 15 German aircraft (ME-109s and FW-190s) before being forced to bail out over enemy territory as a result of a mid-air collision with his wingman. Captured by the Germans, he was held prisoner of war until April 1945 when he escaped to friendly forces just prior to the termination of hostilities in May 1945. Returning to the United States, he was released from active duty in January 1946 as a major.
He joined the District of Columbia Air National Guard as a captain in October 1946. Upgraded once more to the grade of major, he was appointed commander of the 121st (White House) Squadron in May 1948. Promoted to lieutenant colonel, he commanded the 121st when this unit was activated in February 1951 for Korean War service. In June 1951 he became commander of the 33rd Fighter Interceptor Group (ACC) at Otis AFB, Mass. He later became Deputy for Operations of the 33rd Fighter Wing at Otis before his release from active duty in October 1952. He assumed command of the 113th Fighter Interceptor Wing (Air Guard) at Andrews AFB, Md., on Nov. 1, 1952.
On Jan. 2, 1954, the general established a new West to East speed record of four hours and six minutes flying a combat-equipped F-86F Sabrejet with one refueling stop at Offutt AFB, Neb. He is a command pilot with more than 5,200 hours of fighter time, 1,500 of these in the F-100 Super Sabre.
On Oct. 1, 1961, General Millikan led the 113th Tactical Fighter Wing on active duty when it was federalized in the wake of the Berlin Crisis. The wing, composed of F-100 Super Sabres from Washington, D.C.; Niagara Falls, N.Y.; and Denver, Colo.; performed with distinction during Swift Strike II, the largest Army and Air Force exercise since the end of World War II. General Millikan planned and led the first Air Guard fighter non-stop deployment, utilizing three aerial refuelings, to Europe and back in August 1964.
His military decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross (three enemy aircraft destroyed in one engagement), Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with silver oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, and the Purple Heart.
(Current as of June 1, 1968)