Died October 13,2018
Lieutenant General Edgar S. Harris Jr. is commander of Eighth Air Force, Strategic Air Command, with headquarters at Barksdale Air Force Base, La.
General Harris was born in Danville, Va., in 1925. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., with a bachelor of science degree in 1946. In 1961 he graduated from the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va. He received a master's degree in international affairs from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., in 1964 while attending the Naval War College, Newport, R.I.
General Harris has spent the majority of his 33-year career in SAC. He has served as a staff officer at various command levels and twice as a SAC wing and air division commander. He has had two assignments with the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
General Harris received his pilot wings in 1946 and is a command pilot with more than 7,900 flying hours. He has piloted most SAC aircraft from B-29s to SR-71s.
After multiengine training at Enid, Okla., he was assigned to the Bombardment Wing at Davis-Monthan Field, Ariz., in October 1946. He moved with the wing to Savannah, Ga., in April 1949. He accumulated crew duty experience in the B-29, B-47 and B-50 aircraft before moving to a staff position as chief of operations and plans.
In October 1955 he transferred to Sidi Slimane, Morocco, as an operations staff officer in the Directorate of Plans. General Harris returned to the United States in December 1957 and served in the War Plans Branch, Headquarters SAC, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. In 1960 he attended the Armed Forces Staff College. He subsequently was assigned to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., where he served as a B-52 operations officer and squadron commander.
General Harris received a master's degree in international affairs from The George Washington University while attending the Naval War College in 1964. Following graduation he returned to Headquarters SAC as chief of the Management Engineering Branch.
In June 1966 he moved to Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., as vice wing commander and in June 1967 was named wing commander. During 1968 he led the B-52/KC-135 wing on its second tour of duty in Southeast Asia where he flew 43 combat missions.
General Harris became wing commander at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, in August 1968. In February 1970 he was assigned to the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C., as chief, Strategic Operations Division, Directorate of Operations.
In September 1971 he transferred to Beale Air Force Base, Calif., to command the 14th Air Division where he assumed responsibility for B-52, KC-135, U-2 and SR-71 aircraft units. He remained there until June 1973 when he was assigned to March Air Force Base, Calif., as chief of staff, Fifteenth Air Force. During this time he was also assigned on temporary duty to command the 57th Air Division, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.
General. Harris served as assistant deputy chief of staff for operations, Headquarters SAC, from February 1974 until May 1975 when he returned to March Air Force Base as vice commander, Fifteenth Air Force.
In August 1976 he returned to Headquarters SAC as chief of staff, a position he held until December 1977, when he was appointed vice commander in chief, SAC. General Harris assumed his present duties in June 1978.
He has been awarded the master missileman badge as a result of his experience with Titan and Minuteman missiles. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Presidential Unit Citation emblem with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award ribbon with three oak leaf clusters and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm.
General Harris was promoted to lieutenant general Feb. 2, 1978, with same date of rank.
His hometown is Danville, Va.
(Current as of March 1980)