Died March 28,2011
Brigadier General Guy M. Townsend is deputy for systems management, Aeronautical Systems Division, Air Force Systems Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
General Townsend was born in Columbus, Miss., in 1920, and graduated from San Jacinto High School, Houston, Texas, in June 1939. From September 1939 to June 1941 he attended Texas Agricultural and Mechanical University, College Station, Texas, where he studied aeronautical engineering.
He entered military service as an aviation cadet in the Army Air Corps in October 1941, completed pilot training at Ontario and Victorville, Calif., and was commissioned a second lieutenant in May 1942. During World War II, General Townsend flew 450 combat hours in B-17s and B-29s in the Pacific Theater of Operations.
Upon his return to the United States in October 1945, his principal duties were as pilot and flight test officer. His assignments included six years at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the last three years as bomber flight test chief. From 1951 to 1956 he was assigned to the Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., with duty station at the Boeing Company, Seattle, Wash. During this time he flew with the contractor during Phase I of the B-52 flight test program (including the first flight) and conducted the Phase II and IV programs.
In December 1955 General Townsend was assigned to the 93rd Bombardment Wing at Castle Air Force Base, Calif., as deputy director of operations and later became director of materiel. The 93rd was the first wing to receive B-52 and KC-135 type aircraft. In August 1957 he went to Alaska and served for six months as Strategic Air Command's senior representative in Alaska. In February 1958, after completion of the temporary duty assignment, he became deputy chief, Requirements Division, Directorate of Operations, Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., and in October 1958 was named chief of the division.
He was assigned as B-70 Test Force Director, Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., in March 1962. In December 1963 he became the center's director of flight test and in July 1964 the deputy for systems test.
General Townsend became director of the C-5 System Program Office in the Aeronautical Systems Division, Air Force Systems Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, in September 1965 and assumed duties as deputy for systems management in July 1968.
He was the first military pilot to fly the B-47 Stratojet, B-50 Super Fortress, B-52 Stratofortress and the 367-80 prototype of the KC-135 Stratotanker. He also test flew the B-36, B-45, B-46, B-48, and B-51 aircraft. To date, he has logged more than 8,000 hours of flying time -- 5,000 in experimental flight testing in many different aircraft.
His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force and Army Commendation Medals, Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem (Army), and Presidential Unit Citation (Navy).
(Current as of Oct. 1, 1968)
Change in assignment to systems program director, B-1, Aeronautical Systems Division, effective Nov. 7, 1969.