HomeAbout UsBiographiesDisplay

GENERAL WALTER C. SWEENEY JR.

PRINT | E-MAIL

General Walter Campbell Sweeney is commander of the U.S. Air Force Tactical Air Command, which prepares and maintains combat-ready forces capable of conducting worldwide tactical air operations.

A native of Wheeling, W.Va., he was born in 1909. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy and was commissioned a second lieutenant of infantry in June 1930. In October 1934, he entered primary flying school at Randolph Field, Texas, with subsequent graduation from the advanced flying school in October 1935, at Kelly Field, Texas. His first operational assignment was with the Eighth Attack Squadron of the Third Attack Group at Barksdale Field, La.

In June 1939, General Sweeney joined the Fifth Bomb Group in Hawaii and later transferred to the 1lth Bomb Group as commanding officer of the 431st Bomb Squadron. He commanded an Army Air Force Task Group during the Battle of Midway in June 1942. In July 1942, he became the air officer for the Theater Group, Operations Division of the War Department General Staff in Washington, D.C.

In July 1944, General Sweeney was assigned to the 73rd Bomb Wing and moved with this unit from Colorado Springs, Colo., to the Pacific area, serving as chief of staff and later deputy commander. While with the wing in the Marianas, he participated in the first unprecedented low-level attack with B-29s against the Japanese. On a later mission he lost his aircraft, paddled ashore in a life raft, and returned to his island base. In July 1945, he became director of plans of the Strategic Air Force, Pacific Ocean Area, Guam.

After the war he served as a member of the Joint War Plans Committee for the Army Air Force in Washington, D.C., until July 1946 when he became an instructor at the National War College.

In October 1947, General Sweeney was assigned to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, and the following year was named director of plans for the Strategic Air Command with headquarters at Omaha, Neb.

In April 1953, he was assigned to command the Fifteenth Air Force at March Air Force Base, Calif. In June 1954, while commander of this strategic bomber force, he led a trio of Stratojets in history's first non-stop flight of jet bombers across the Pacific Ocean.

For six years, from August 1955 until September 1961, General Sweeney commanded the Eighth Air Force at Westover Air Force Base, Mass.

In October 1961 General Sweeney was promoted to four-star rank and assumed command of the Tactical Air Command with headquarters at Langley Air Force Base, Va.

General Sweeney has been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal. He is rated a command pilot.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
The initial assessment of #HurricaneMichael's aftermath was bleak, but more than a month later, the outlook has tak… https://t.co/cZBfWX8Yca
RT @DeptofDefense: Meet the Lees family. Three brothers and a sister, who have all decided to join the military. Today, Rose Lees tells us…
.@USOPM has announced Federal Benefits Open Season. Enrollment period began November 12 and runs through December 1… https://t.co/XDIVrG0GFX
U.S. military volunteers donated desks & school supplies to a Nigerian school. @USArmy #USAF #Airmen @HQUSAFEPAhttps://t.co/QScOTGS9UP
A #USAF #C130 became the first U.S. aircraft to drop #Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers on Hiju-dai drop zon… https://t.co/ErD7kQrHck
#AirForce Pararescue #Airmen @BagramAirfield conducted flight medical training with the help of volunteers from the… https://t.co/qtcvk61eyC
RT @DeptofDefense: Some vets have four legs 🐕! @USAirForce Senior Airman Damion Morris and his partner Leonard test the waters at @Adventu
Master and apprentice were reunited during a surprise reunion. @USAFReserve @RobinsAFB_GA https://t.co/xThQGz3CTM https://t.co/8rHHe0Vtaj
#USAF Staff Sgt. Andre Gonzales launches Capt. Cody Wilton, #A10 #DemoTeam commander/pilot, out at San Bernardino I… https://t.co/Ce719kI7bw
Throughout #TridentJuncture18, @Spangdahlem_AB #Airmen of the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron have worked thro… https://t.co/xsrionmKlZ
"I arrived at Tyndall 36 hours after the storm, that's five hours in dog time." - #MilitaryWorkingDog IIsaac's stor… https://t.co/JT0JVx4sbt
RT @US_EUCOM: Flanked by @US_EUCOM Joint Color Guard, @POTUS makes #ArmisticeDay100 remarks at Suresnes American Cemetery on November 11, 2…
.@LukeAFB #K9 unit trained with @AZNationalGuard #Medics to familiarize themselves with giving dogs medical attenti… https://t.co/zVSMrUkucN
Reflections show us who we are. Strong, determined, lethal, always ready...we like what we are seeing.… https://t.co/zsWQwyMSj4
Originally known as “Armistice Day” to mark the end of WWI, #VeteransDay was officially established in 1954 by Pres… https://t.co/srjqsQD6FD
SOUND ON: Bells across the country will be tolling at 11 a.m. local time to mark the centennial of World War I & to… https://t.co/JyrdK1ZDnf
.@AirNatlGuard Aircrew Flight Equipment #Airmen help the176th Wing aircrew breathe easy. @JBER_newshttps://t.co/qh4fwPIoTi