An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


Gilbert Hayden was born in Seatonville, Ill., in 1897. After graduating from high school at Princeton, Ill., he enlisted in the Army and from April 1918 to May 1919 served with the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe, rising to the rank of sergeant. He entered the U.S. Military Academy in June 1919, graduated and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Air Service June 14, 1922.

General Hayden transferred to the Signal Corps the following August, graduated from the Army Signal School in 1924, and served there as an instructor. In September 1928, he entered Yale University, received a master of science degree in June 1929, and became chief of the Radio Division of the Signal Corps Laboratories.

In 1933 General Hayden was named officer in charge of the Signal System for the Philippine Department. Two years later he was assigned for duty as chief of the Signal Maintenance and Repair Section at the Rockwell, Calif., Air Depot.

General Hayden was appointed chief of the Communications Division at Wright Field in January 1938, and served almost three years in that capacity. During that period he spent three months in London, England, as a technical observer. In November 1941, he was assigned to the Office of the Chief Signal Officer in Washington, D.C. The following April he returned to Wright Field, Ohio, to become executive officer of the Signal Corps Aircraft Signal Service.

General Hayden went overseas in July 1944, for duty as communications and signal officer for the 12th Tactical Air Command in Italy. He returned to the United States in June 1945 and the following October became chief of the Air Communications Division, headquarters of the Armed Forces in the Pacific. In January 1946, he was appointed assistant chief signal officer for the Armed Forces in the Pacific, and a year later assumed the same position with the headquarters of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers in Japan. In January 1947 he was appointed director of the Air Communications Division of the Far East Command at Tokyo, and from February to July 1947, served as acting assistant signal officer of the Far East Command.

In September 1947, General Hayden became assistant to the chief of the Electronic Sub-Division at Wright Field, Ohio. In January 1948 he assumed command of the Watson Laboratory at Red Bank, N.J., and in July 1949, returned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, as chief of the Electronic Sub-Division. In April 1951, he was appointed deputy commander of the Air Development Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He became deputy commander of the newly organized Wright Air Development Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in June 1951 and in February 1952, was named special assistant to the commanding general of that center.

General Hayden has been awarded the Silver Star, Legion of Merit and Bronze Star Medal. He transferred from the Signal Corps to the Air Force in July.

(Up to date as of Feb. 1, 1952)