HomeAbout UsBiographiesDisplay

GENERAL HOYT S. VANDENBERG

PRINT | E-MAIL

General Hoyt S. Vandenberg was the second chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.

The general was born at Milwaukee, Wis., in 1899. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy June 12, 1923, and commissioned a second lieutenant in the Air Service.

General Vandenberg graduated from the Air Service Flying School at Brooks Field, Texas, in February 1924, and from the Air Service Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, Texas, in September 1924.

His first assignment was with the Third Attack Group at Kelly Field, where he assumed command of the 90th Attack Squadron. In 1927, he became an instructor at the Air Corps Primary Flying School at March Field, Calif. He went to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, in May 1929, to join the Sixth Pursuit Squadron, and assumed command of it the following November.

Returning in September 1931, he was appointed a flying instructor at Randolph Field, Texas, and became a flight commander and deputy stage commander there in March 1933. He entered the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Ala., in August 1934, and graduated the following June. Two months later he enrolled in the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and completed the course in June 1936. He then became an instructor at the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, where he taught until September 1936, when he entered the Army War College.

After graduating from the War College in June 1939, General Vandenberg was assigned to the Plans Division in the Office of the Chief of Air Corps. A few months after the United States entered World War II, he became operations and training officer of the Air Staff. For his services in these two positions he received the Distinguished Service Medal.

In June 1943, General Vandenberg was assigned to the United Kingdom and assisted in the organization of the Air Forces in North Africa. While in Great Britain he was appointed chief of staff of the 12th Air Force, which he helped organize. On Feb. 18, 1943, General Vandenberg became chief of staff of the Northwest African Strategic Air Force and with this air force he flew on numerous missions over Tunisia, Italy, Sardinia, Sicily and Pantelleria during the North African campaign. He was awarded both the Silver Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross for his services during this time. For his organizational ability with the 12th Air Force and his work as chief of staff of the Northwest African Strategic Air Force, he was awarded the Legion of Merit.

General Vandenberg, in August 1943, was assigned to Air Corps headquarters as deputy chief of air staff. A month later he became head of an air mission to Russia, under Ambassador Harriman, and returned to the United States in January 1944. Two months later he was transferred to the European theater, and in April 1944, was designated deputy air commander in chief of the Allied Expeditionary Forces and commander of its American Air Component. In August 1944, General Vandenberg assumed command of the Ninth Air Force. On Nov. 28, 1944, he received an oak leaf cluster to the Distinguished Service Medal for his part in planning the Normandy invasion.

He was appointed assistant chief of air staff at Air Corps headquarters in July 1945. The following January he became director of Intelligence on the War Department general staff where he serviced until his appointment in June 1945, as director of Central Intelligence. He returned to duty with the Air Corps in April 1947, and on June 15, 1947, became deputy commander and chief of air staff. He was designated vice chief of staff of the Air Force on Oct. 1, 1947, and promoted to the rank of general. On April 30, 1948, General Vandenberg became chief of staff of the Air Force, succeeding General Carl Spaatz. He was renominated by President Harry S. Truman for a second term as chief of staff March 6, 1952, to June 30, 1953, and the nomination was confirmed by the Senate on April 28, 1952.

General Vandenberg retired from active duty June 30, 1953. He has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star, Victory Medal, American Campaign Ribbon, American Defense Ribbon and the European-African-Middle East Campaign Ribbon.

His foreign decorations include: Mexican Military Order of Merit; Netherlands Order of Orange Nassau (Grand Officer with Swords); Brazilian Cruz del Sol (Grand Officer), and Medal of War; Luxembourg Order of Adolph von Nassau (Grand Cross), and Croix de Guerre; Belgian Order of Leopold I (Grand Officer with Palms); and Croix de Guerre with Palms; British Order of the Bath (Knight Commanders Cross); Polish Order of Polish Restoration (2nd Class); Portuguese Ordem de Avis, Gra Cruiz; Egyptian L'Ordre Du Nil Grand Cordon; Chinese Order of Pao Ting (Tripod with Grand Cordon); Chilean Medallia Militar de Primerera Clase; Argentine General Staff Emblem and the Military Order of Italy.

(Current as of April 1954)

Engage

Twitter
In March 2020, the CV-22 Osprey fleet established the first flying crew chief program. A ceremony elevated five of… https://t.co/cQv1qMzu1A
Twitter
Addressing @AirForceAssoc's #vASC2020, @WILLROP3R, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology… https://t.co/ZjMJm0kSrX
Twitter
.@USAF_ACC guided @Offutt_AFB flood recovery efforts, executed $856 million in congressional funding to support 12,… https://t.co/YmfLdwPIcg
Twitter
As we celebrate 73 years, we remember heroes we're proud to have served with. In 1965, A1C William Pitsenbarger res… https://t.co/vTmZkWGg73
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Teammates — we hear you. Continuing in unprecedented times....managing official/primary duties, child care, virtual s…
Twitter
In partnership w/the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City, Louisiana, @AFGlobalStrike developed the Portfolio-le… https://t.co/xyOGprp9By
Twitter
Since the outbreak COVID-19, @AirMobilityCmd has flown 306 sorties providing aeromedical evacuation, airlift, and a… https://t.co/9bdqVfSj40
Twitter
The first two KC-46A assigned to the @USAFReserve were delivered to the 916th Airlift Wing, @SJAFB, North Carolina… https://t.co/brcVdrqOAY
Twitter
In Aug 2020, the USAF pushed to field hypersonic weapons after a final captive-carry test of the AGM-183A Air-launc… https://t.co/c8LN43plk1
Twitter
As we celebrate 73 years, we honor the heroes we're proud to have served with. Today we pay tribute to MSgt John A… https://t.co/YhOCcbdyuR
Twitter
To better meet the demands of current & future all-domain conflicts, @USAF_ACC integrated Intelligence, Surveillanc… https://t.co/UkN0SOLc0E
Twitter
RT @WILLROP3R: @DoDCTO @DeptofDefense @usairforce Hypervelocity Guns + Hypervelocity Decision Making = Next-Generation Base Defense! Simply…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,277,846
Follow Us