GENERAL TRUMAN H. LANDON
Died January 27,1986
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Truman Hempel Landon was born in Maryville, Mo., in 1905, and grew up in Carlinville, Ill. After graduation from the Carlinville High School in 1922, he attended Blackburn College in that city and, in 1924, entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.
He graduated from the academy in 1928 and received his pilot and observer ratings at Kelly Field, Texas, Feb. 15, 1930. General Landon is currently a command pilot with more than 7,800 hours.
Following two years with the 3rd Attack Group at Fort Crockett, Texas, he served as a flying instructor from 1932-1936 at Randolph Field and with the Sixth Bomb Group at France Field in the Canal Zone from 1937 to 1939.
The commander of the 38th Reconnaissance Squadron from 1939 to 1942, General Landon participated in the first mass flight of B-17s from Hamilton Field, Calif., to Hickam Field, Hawaii, May 13, 1941.
On Dec. 7, 1941 while enroute to the Philippine Islands in command of the 38th Squadron, General Landon arrived at Hickam Field, Hawaii, during the Japanese attack.
During World War II he commanded the Seventh Bomber Command in the Central Pacific. While commanding general of the Seventh Bomber Command he also commanded a Joint Task Group under Admiral Nimitz.
With the exception of a tour of duty with the Caribbean Air Command, General Landon has divided all of his time from December 1944 until today between Washington, D.C., and Germany. From March 1951 until August 1953 he served as deputy commander-in-chief and chief of staff for USAFE at Wiesbaden, Germany. In June 1956, he assumed command of the Caribbean Air Command, Albrook Air Force Base, Canal Zone, where he remained until August 1959.
His Washington duties have been varied. He was the senior air instructor and later commandant of the Army and Navy Staff College. Other assignments included assistant deputy chief of staff for operations, inspector general and deputy chief of staff for personnel, all with Headquarters U.S. Air Force.
He assumed command of the 4th Allied Tactical Air Forces and U.S. Air Forces in Europe on July 1, 1961, succeeding General Federic H. Smith Jr., who was named vice chief of staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.
Silver Star citation reads in part, "For gallantry in action, conspicuous bravery and coolness in handling airplane and in leading his echelon during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941."
Doctor of Laws conferred by Long Island University, Jan. 29, 1960.
Golf is his favorite sport. Plays in the seventies.
He became interested in electronics while building a hi-fi set in 1958 and has been taking self-study courses in this subject for the past two years both as a means of increasing his understanding and as a form of mental relaxation.
Maintains a keen interest in foreign affairs. Speaks German and Spanish fluently. While overseas made a number of public speeches in those languages. Regards Latin American nations as particularly important and is an authority on military and political affairs in that area.
DECORATIONS AND MEDALS
Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster
Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Army of Occupation Medal
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal
National Defense Service Medal
World War II Victory Medal
CIVIC AND RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES
A member of the Army-Navy Club, Washington, D.C.; Columbia Golf and Country Club, Chevy Chase, Md.; and a member of the Order of the Daedalians, Flight Number 7 (The Los Angeles Flight).
Religious Preference: Baptist. Believes Sunday should be a "family" day. Attends church regularly and, whenever possible, devotes this day to family activities.
Prefers dark conservative clothes, likes Mexican food, and has acquired an extensive collection of Latin American folk records.
Considers precision of language important. Objects strenuously to split infinitives.