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LIEUTENANT GENERAL GEORGE E. STRATEMEYER

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Lieutenant General George Edward Stratemeyer was World War II chief of Air Staff and Far East Air Forces commander during the first year of the Korean War.

Stratemeyer was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1890. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in June 1915 as a second lieutenant of Infantry. He served with the 7th and 34th Infantry divisions in Texas and Arizona until September 1916 when he was detailed to the Aviation Section for flying training at Rockwell Field, San Diego, Calif. Stratemeyer became a first lieutenant in June 1916. He became commanding officer of the Air Service Flying and Technical Schools at Kelly Field, Texas in May 1917. He became a captain in August 1917 and later commanding officer of Chanute Field, Ill. Stratemeyer was promoted to major in August 1918. With official transfer to the Air Corps from the Infantry in 1920 he went to Luke Field, Hawaii as commanding officer of the 10th Air Park.

He returned to West Point in August 1924 as instructor in tactics. He graduated from the Air Corps Tactical School at Langley Field, Va., in June 1930 and from the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., in 1932. He remained at Leavenworth as an instructor for the next four years. Stratemeyer was promoted to lieutenant colonel in June 1936 and assigned to command the 7th Bomb Group at Hamilton Field, Calif. He graduated from the Army War College in 1939 and went to the office of the Chief of Air Corps as head of the Training and Operations Division, with promotion to colonel in March 1940.

A year later Stratemeyer became executive officer to General H.H. Arnold, the chief of the Air Corps, and in August he was promoted to brigadier general. General Stratemeyer commanded the Southeast Air Corps Training Center at Maxwell Field, Ala., for five months and returned to Washington in June 1942 as chief of Air Staff for General Arnold. He had been promoted to major general in February 1942.

General Stratemeyer went to the China-Burma-India Theater in mid-1943, becoming commanding general of the India-Burma Sector and air adviser to the commanding general of the China-Burma-India Theater. Stratemeyer was promoted to lieutenant general in May 1945 and from April 1944 until March 1946 was commander of the Army Air Forces in the China Theater with headquarters at Chungking.

After the war General Stratemeyer commanded the Air Defense Command at Mitchel Field, N.Y., and the Continental Air Command which was organized there in November 1948. At both positions, Stratemeyer tried to improve America's warning system.

He went to Tokyo in April 1949 as commanding general of Far East Air Forces, which he led through the first year of the Korean War. His units responded rapidly to the North Koreans' invasion of the South and provided South Korea and MacArthur with the vital air arm. General Stratemeyer had a serious heart attack in Tokyo in May 1951 and was confined to the Air Force hospital at nearby Tachikawa.

His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters; Distinguished Flying Cross; Air Medal with oak leaf cluster; American Defense Service Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Theater Medal with five service stars; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with service star; World War I Victory Medal; World War II Victory Medal; American Campaign Medal with service star; National Defense Service Medal; Korean Service Medal with four service stars; Mexican Border Service Medal; Ho-Tu Medal of Chinese Air Force; Tashou Cloud Banner (Chinese); British Order of Companion of the Bath Chinese Special; Chinese Pilot's Badge; Polish Order of Polonia Restituta Commander's Cross; Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Degree of Knight Commander; Yugoslavian pilot's badge.

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