GENERAL OTTO PAUL WEYLAND
Died September 02,1979
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Post-World War II Commander of Far East Air Forces during Korean War and of Tactical Air Command: born Riverside, Calif., 1902.
O.P. "Opie" Weyland's family moved from California to Texas when he was a youth. He went to high school at Taft, Sinton, and Hempstead, Texas, From 1919 to 1923 he attended Texas A&M., graduating with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering, and getting his commission in the Air Service. He took flying training at Brooks and Kelly fields, Texas, with initial duty with the 12th Observation Squadron at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He returned to Kelly Field to teach flying.
Promoted to first lieutenant in June 1930, he went to Hawaii as commanding officer of the 4th Observation Squadron at Luke Field. He returned to Kelly Field in November 1934 as instructor and in 1935 became chief of the Observation Section, with promotion to captain that March. Weyland attended both the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Ala., and the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., with next duty in Washington in June 1939 as assistant to the chief of Aviation Division in the National Guard Bureau.
He was promoted to major in March 1940 and to lieutenant colonel in December 1941, the latter coming while he was in Panama as commanding officer of the 16th Pursuit Group and chief of staff of the 6th Air Force. Weyland was upped to colonel in March 1942 and was back in Washington in June as deputy director of air support at Headquarters Army Air Force. He was advanced to brigadier general in September 1943 and in November went to Europe as command general of the 84th Fighter Wing. Four months later he became command general of the XIX Tactical Air Command. Under him this combat unit gained fame for its classic air support of General George Patton's 3d Army in the successful movement across France in the spring of 1945.
By January 1945 Weyland had become a major general and finished the air war against Germany, participating in six major campaigns and called by Patton "the best damn general in the Air Corps." Back home in September 1945 Weyland for nine months served as assistant commandant of the school at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and in June 1946 went to Washington as assistant chief of plans at Headquarters Army Air Force. He moved up to Plans and Operations when the Air Force became a separate service. From February 1948 to July 1950 he served as deputy commandant of the National War College in Washington. In July 1950 he was briefly commanding general of Tactical Air Command until going to Headquarters Far Eastern Air Force in Tokyo as vice commander for operations in the first full month of the Korean War.
In April 1951 he returned to Tactical Air Command and was promoted to lieutenant general, and in June went back to Tokyo as commanding general of Far Eastern Air Forces and the United Nations Air Forces when Lieutenant General George Stratemeyer had a heart attack. Weyland's widely recognized ability and experience in tactical warfare was demonstrated in 10 major campaigns in Korea.
He was promoted to four-star general on July 5, 1952. He stayed in Japan to help that nation reorganize its air defense forces and aircraft industry, and became known as the "father of the new Japanese air force." He again returned home, in May 1954, as commanding general of Tactical Air Command.
During his career he earned many decorations, including two Distinguished Service Medals, the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross (for personally leading a bomber formation against important Communist targets in North Korea when weather prevented fighter cover and escort), the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, and Air Medal, as well as awards from Great Britain (Commander, Order of the British Empire--for air cover of Normandy Invasion), France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Korea, Thailand, Philippine Islands, Japan and Brazil.