Lee Bird Washbourne was born in Jay, Okla., in 1906. After graduating from high school at Jay, he entered the U.S. Military Academy where he graduated on June 14, 1927, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers.
After assignment with the Memphis, Tenn., Engineer District, in September 1928 General Washbourne was transferred to the Second Engineers at Fort Logan, Colo., and a year later entered the University of California, graduating with a degree in civil engineering in June 1930. He then became assistant to the athletic officer at Fort Humphries, Va., and in September 1930 entered the Engineer School at Fort Humphries. Graduating the following June, General Washbourne attended the Air Corps Primary Flying School at Brooks Field, Texas, for three months and then joined the 13th Engineers at Fort Humphries.
Going overseas in July l932, Genera Washbourne was assigned duty with the Third Engineers at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. Returning to the United States in August 1934, he became assistant professor of military science and tactics at State College, Pa., which position he held for four years, serving in the summers as an ROTC instructor at Fort Belvoir, Va.
Transferred in September 1938, General Washbourne was named assistant chief of the Little Rock, Ark., Engineer District. Moving to MacDill Field, Fla., in July 1940 for duty with the 20th Engineers (Aviation,) a year later he assumed command of the 805th Engineer Battalion there, going to Panama in July 1942 for duty as engineer staff officer with the Sixth Air Force Service Command.
Returning to the United States in January 1944, General Washbourne entered the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth Kan., and upon graduation the following March was assigned as engineer staff officer with the First Air Force at Mitchel Field, N.Y.
Reassigned in December 1944 to headquarters of the Army Air Force in the Pacific Ocean area, General Washbourne assumed command of the 933rd Engineer Aviation Regiment. In February 1946 he was named deputy commander of the 5223rd Engineer Construction Brigade on Okinawa; the following May became engineer of the Okinawa Base Command; and in June was designated engineer of the Okinawa Engineer District.
Joining the Fourth Army at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, in May 1947, General Washbourne was appointed an engineer staff officer and that December became assistant chief of staff for Operations of the Fourth Army.
Transferring to the Air Force on April 30, 1948, the following July General Washbourne became air installation officer for Strategic Air command at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and in October l948 moved with the command to Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., where he was named chief of its Air Installations Section.
In July 1952 General Washbourne was appointed director of Installations, deputy chief of staff for Operations, at Air Force headquarters, Washington, D.C., being redesignated assistant chief of staff for Installations on March 20, 1951.
Going to Europe on June 12, 1957, General Washbourne joined U.S. Air Forces in Europe, with station at Wiesbaden, Germany, where he assumed duties of deputy chief of staff, Installations, USAFE.
His decorations include the Bronze Star Medal and Army Commendation Ribbon with oak leaf cluster.
(Up to date as of June 1957)