Died June 20,2013
Brigadier General Francis A. Humphreys Jr. is deputy director of operations, J3, Headquarters, U.S. Readiness Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.
General Humphreys was born in 1928, in Asheville, N.C. He graduated from the University of Arkansas with a bachelor of arts degree in 1949. He is a 1963 graduate of the Air Command and Staff College and a 1965 graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College.
General Humphreys began his military career as an aviation cadet in August 1949. He received his pilot wings and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1950 upon completion of advanced flight training at Williams Air Force Base, Ariz. He was then assigned to Dover Air Force Base, Del., as an F-86 Sabrejet pilot and in July 1951 was assigned to the 63rd Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, Oscodo (now Kincheloe) Air Force Base, Mich.
In December 1951, General Humphreys was assigned to the 51st Fighter Wing in the Republic of Korea. During this period he flew 123 combat missions and was credited with three MiG-15s destroyed, one probable and two damaged. Returning to the United States in November 1952, he became operations officer of the 33rd Fighter-Bomber Squadron, Clovis Air Force Base, N.M. In June 1953, General Humphreys survived an F-86 aircraft accident, and remained in patient status at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, until March 1955. Following his recovery, he was assigned to Foster Air Force Base, Texas, as a flight commander and instructor pilot.
In April 1956, General Humphreys began a three-year tour at Itazuke Air Base, Japan, with the 36th Fighter-Bomber Squadron of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing. Upon his return to the United States in April 1959, he was assigned to Columbus Air Force Base, Miss., as the assistant chief and later chief of the Organizational Support Branch, 4228th Strategic Wing. In October 1962, he was assigned as an aircraft commander flying B-47 bombers with the Strategic Air Command, Plattsburgh Air Force Base, N.Y., where he remained until January 1966. During this period he attended the Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, Va., and upon graduation returned to Plattsburgh.
In January 1966, General Humphreys began several short-term combat training assignments with the Tactical Air Command. In September 1967, he was assigned to the 389th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Da Nang Air Base, Republic of Vietnam. He assumed command of the squadron in April 1968. During this one-year tour, he flew 160 combat missions, 100 of which were over North Vietnam in the F-4 Phantom.
In October 1968 General Humphreys was transferred to Homestead Air Force Base, Fla., and served with the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing as a squadron commander, chief of standardization and evaluation, and assistant director of operations. He became wing director of operations in December 1970. In January 1971, he was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force as deputy chief, Tactical Division, in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations. He became chief of that division in August 1971.
General Humphreys returned to Southeast Asia in November J972 as commander of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. While there, he supervised some of the most varied and sophisticated air operations in Southeast Asia, including six squadrons of F-4 Phantoms and the only squadron of AC-130 Spectres, largest of the U.S. Air Force gunships. He also flew 93 combat missions including 15 missions over North Vietnam during this assignment.
In January 1974, he returned to Washington, D.C., as the deputy director, military assistance and sales in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Systems and Logistics, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. He was assigned as chief, Air Force Section, Military Assistance Advisory Group, Iran, in June 1974.
General Humphreys assumed command of the 20th North American Air Defense Command Region and the 20th Air Division at Fort Lee Air Force Station, Va., on Oct. 15, 1975. In this position he was responsible for the air defense of an 18-state area of the Southeastern United States, including the District of Columbia. He was assigned to his current position as deputy director of operations, J3, Headquarters, U.S. Readiness Command, in July 1978.
He is a command pilot. His military decorations and awards include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with five oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 22 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award ribbon and the Combat Readiness Medal.
He was promoted to the grade of brigadier general on Aug. 1, 1974, with date of rank July 19, 1974.
(Current as of January 1979)