HomeAbout UsBiographiesDisplay

MAJOR GENERAL JOSEPH J. KRUZEL

PRINT | E-MAIL

Major General Joseph J. Kruzel is deputy director of operations, Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.

General Kruzel was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., in 1918. He graduated from the University of Scranton, Scranton, Pa., in 1938, with a bachelor of science degree in chemistry and in 1939 was awarded a bachelor's degree in education from the same university. In May 1940 he entered the U.S. Army Air Corps and after completing primary and basic flying training at Parks Air College, East St. Louis, Ill., and Randolph Field, Texas, was commissioned a second lieutenant and received his pilot wings at Kelly Field, Texas, in December 1940.

His first assignment as a commissioned pilot was at Clark Field in the Philippine Islands. He was stationed at Nichols Field, Manila, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and the Philippine Islands. During the early years of World War II, as a combat fighter pilot in northern Australia, Java and the Philippines, General Kruzel flew P-40 fighters, downed one Japanese Zero fighter and logged 175 combat hours.

In 1943 he became squadron commander and later deputy commander of the 361st Fighter Group at Richmond, Va., and went to England in November 1943 with the group, where he flew P-47 and P-51 aircraft. During his tour of duty in the European Theater of Operations he logged 325 combat hours, destroyed three German ME-109s and one FW-190 to become an American ace with four German and one Japanese fighter aircraft to his credit.

During 1945 General Kruzel was deputy base commander at Seymour-Johnson Field, N.C., which was a P-47 Combat Crew Training School and later a separation center. In January 1946 he attended the senior officer's Asiatic Study Course at Yale University.

He was assigned to the Air Office of the XXIV Corps, in Seoul, Korea, in April 1946. He served with Headquarters Far East Air Forces in Tokyo, Japan, from May 1947 to September 1947, followed by a tour of duty as commander of the reactivated 18th Fighter Group, which was equipped with P-47 and subsequently P-51 aircraft at Clark Field, Philippine Islands.

In 1949 General Kruzel attended the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., and upon graduation was assigned to the War Plans Division, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. He later attended the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, graduating in June 1954. He was retained at the Air War College as a member of the Evaluation Staff through May 1957.

In June 1957 General Kruzel was assigned as chief, War Plans Division, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, at Wiesbaden, Germany; and in January 1958 as chief, command post, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers in Europe, in Paris, France.

He returned to the United States in July 1960 and attended the National War College. He next was assigned as vice commander of the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing, equipped with F-100s, at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, S.C., and he became commander of the wing in April 1963. He assumed command of the 832nd Air Division, Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., in January 1964.

In August 1965 General Kruzel was assigned to Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, as director of operations and in August 1966 became deputy chief of staff for operations. In August 1968 he was assigned as vice commander of Fifth Air Force (PACAF) with headquarters at Fuchu Air Station, Japan.

General Kruzel returned to the United States and was assigned in August 1969 to Headquarters U.S. Air Force as deputy director of operations, Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations.

His military decorations include the Silver Star with two oak leaf clusters, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, and the Bronze Star Medal.

(Current as of Aug. 1, 1969)

Engage

Twitter
RT @173rdFW: "I may have lost everything, but thanks to the support we’ve found here, I’m going to be back on my feet inside of a few weeks…
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr & @cmsaf_official sat down and discussed how the Air Force will continue exempting Airmen from PT t… https://t.co/bWVig9fSOW
Twitter
SrA Mark Gonzalez describes how his job enables the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber to support the Bomber Task Force depl… https://t.co/sceKCtM3Pz
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: Our Airmen come from all walks of life — and we are stronger for it. Staff Sgt. Kalinin, 56th Force Support Squadron ALS…
Twitter
“It's critical to have that diversity in the Air Force that we have today because it is truly through that diversit… https://t.co/RIDQDjdlCr
Twitter
F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron @EielsonAirForce takeoff in support of exercise Valia… https://t.co/cf0raGgEUD
Twitter
RT @USAF_ACC: "This test, and others like it, can shape the future of the MQ-9, as we continue to increase its relevance in great power com…
Twitter
"We cannot rest on our laurels. It is all about the people, folks, and they will guarantee our readiness, and are f… https://t.co/BsNDUSw0wE
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: USAFCENT Airmen and coalition partners are executing missions of national, regional and global importance and Exercise Desert…
Twitter
In March 2019, @AFSpecOpsCmd received its first Block 30 AC-130J Ghostrider gunship. Referred to as “the ultimate b… https://t.co/V9FoDThYRQ
Twitter
As the Joint Force transitioned from a Continuous Bomber Presence posture in the Indo-Pacific theater to a Dynamic… https://t.co/u8JlA3GaeF
Twitter
As of August 2020, The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, aka Hurricane Hunters, has flown 64 missions into 12 s… https://t.co/CFtHJ8HDXG
Twitter
.@AFGlobalStrike tackled B-1B readiness issues head-on by readying the fleet with a roadmap to recovery over a 2-yr… https://t.co/dEfZemGKbb
Twitter
As we celebrate 73 years of the U.S. Air Force, we remember the heroes we are proud to have served with. Today we… https://t.co/3pdHX3DvIn
Twitter
Flying, fighting and winning since 1947. #USAF73 https://t.co/qM28ykPZwt
Twitter
RT @AF_Academy: Proud to fly the @usairforce flag today and every day! Happy 73rd Birthday! #YourAcademy #FamilyWeek https://t.co/hOIs1ghq7M
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Today we honor the #heroes who knew the worst of war and the agony of captivity - those who fought for and lost their fre…
Twitter
RT @ArmyMateriel: Join us in wishing a Happy Birthday to our brothers and sisters in the United States Air Force! #DYK The Air Force was…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,280,541
Follow Us