GENERAL WILLIAM WALLACE MOMYER
Died August 10,2012
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General William Wallace Momyer is commander of the U.S. Air Force Tactical Air Command. This command maintains peak combat efficiency in the tactical missions of fighter, reconnaissance and tactical airlift operations. It further trains air and ground crews as required for the overseas commands of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Pacific Air Forces.
General Momyer was born in 1916, in Muskogee, Okla., attended Broadway High School in Seattle, Wash., and graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Washington in 1937.
General Momyer entered military service in 1938, and after successfully completing primary basic pilot training, attended pursuit school at Kelly Field, Texas, graduating in 1939. He was assigned to pilot and flight commander duties until February 1941, when be became military observer for air with the military attach in Cairo, Egypt. In this capacity, he was technical advisor to the Royal Air Force in equipping the first squadron of the Western Desert Air Force with P-40 aircraft.
In October 1942 General Momyer, as commanding officer, led the 33d Fighter Group in flying combat missions in the Tunisia, Sicily and Naples-Foggia campaigns. As a result of several heroic actions during the North African campaign, he received the Distinguished Service Cross and the Silver Star with two oak leaf clusters. In North Africa he single-handedly engaged 18 JU-87 aircraft escorted by German and Italian fighters and had four confirmed kills. He has more than 200 combat flying hours and eight confirmed enemy kills.
General Momyer returned to the United States in 1944 and became chief of the combined operations of the Army Air Forces Board. As a member, he played a significant role in the development of Air Force doctrine for air-ground operations. He became assistant chief of staff, A-5, for Tactical Air Command in 1946 during the formation of Tactical Air Command headquarters, and continued serving with TAC until he entered the Air War College in 1949.
Upon graduation from the Air War College in 1950 he became a member of the faculty. He attended the National War College in 1953-1954 and then went to Korea where he commanded the 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing. With the redeployment of units from Korea to Japan, the 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing moved to Itazuke.
In March 1955 General Momyer returned to Korea to establish the 314th Air Division and command all U.S. Air Force units in Korea. Returning from Korea in October l955, he assumed command of the 312th Fighter-Bomber Wing, Clovis Air Force Base, N.M., (subsequently renamed Cannon Air Force Base).
General Momyer assumed command of the 832d Air Division, Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., in May 1957. As commander of the two F-100D Super Sabre fighter wings, he had the distinction of commanding the first units to take top honors for both conventional and special weapons teams during the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons Meet at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
General Momyer was director of plans, Headquarters TAC, Langley Air Force Base, Va., from July 1958 to October 1961. He was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force from October 1961 to February 1964 as director of operational requirements, and during the period of February-August 1964, as assistant deputy chief of staff, programs and requirements.
In August 1964 General Momyer became commander of the Air Training Command and held that post until July 1966, when he went to Vietnam to serve as deputy commander for air operations, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, and also, commander, Seventh Air Force. He served in this important dual role until August 1968, at which time he assumed command of Tactical Air Command.
General Momyer is a command pilot with more than 4,000 flying hours. Among his military awards and decorations are the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Silver Star with two oak leaf clusters, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, French Chevalier de La Legion D'Honneur, and the English Distinguished Flying Cross.
(Current as of May 1, 1971)