HomeAbout UsBiographiesDisplay

LIEUTENANT GENERAL ROBERT WELLS HARPER

PRINT | E-MAIL

Robert Wells Harper was born in Seattle, Wash., in 1900. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and was commissioned a second lieutenant of Infantry June 12, 1924.

His first assignment was with the Seventh Infantry at Vancouver Barracks, Wash. In September 1925, he entered the Air Corps Primary Flying School at Brooks Field, Texas, and the following March transferred to the Air Corps Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field Texas, from which he graduated in September 1926.

He was then assigned to Fort Crockett, Texas, for duty with the Third Attack Group. He returned to Brooks Field in June 1927, as assistant operations officer of the Air Corps Primary Flying School and two years later was appointed secretary of the school. In May 1928, he transferred from the Infantry to the Air Corps.

General Harper went to Nichols Field, Philippine Islands, in December 1930, for duty with the Fourth Composite Group, and in July 1931 was transferred to the Third Pursuit Squadron at Clark Field there.

Returning to the United States in December 1932, he was assigned as personnel adjutant at Chanute Field, Ill., where he became post adjutant in July 1934. In August 1936 he entered the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Ala., and upon graduation in June 1937, went to Edgewood Arsenals, Md., where he attended the Chemical Warfare School until August 1937. He then entered the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., from which he graduated in June 1938. His next assignment was at the U.S. Military Academy, where he served as tactical officer.

In July 1942, he was assigned to Air Force headquarters at Washington, for duty in the Office of the Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Operations. A month later he became assistant chief of air staff for operations, and in March 1943, was designated assistant chief of air staff for training at Air Force headquarters.

He went overseas in September 1944, to represent the Air Force in the organization established for the administration of Germany. He was appointed director of the Air Control Council Group on Nov. 1, 1944, and a month later became chief of the Air Division of the Group Control Council in Germany. In October 1946, he was appointed director of the Armed Forces Division in the Office of Military Government in Germany.

Returning to the United States in May 1947, he was assigned to the War Department in Washington and the following month transferred to Air Force headquarters. On July 1, 1947 he became commanding general of Air Transport Command with headquarters at Gravelly Point, Va. He was appointed commanding general of the Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., the following May.

On Oct. 15, 1948, he assumed command of Air Training Command, with headquarters at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. He retained that position when Air Training Command headquarters was moved to Scott Air Force Base, Ill., in November 1949.

General Harper has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster. He is rated a command pilot, combat observer, aircraft observer and technical observer.

(Up to date as of June 30, 1954)

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @ActingSecAF: Fanstastic first day @salondubourget with iconic @NASA astronauts like @WordenAlfred & @AstroHague! And great discussion…
Herculean Heights: Resilient leader at Youngstown reaches 10,000 hrs milestone. @910AW @USAFReserve #USAFhttps://t.co/dNmxl0nrmu
.@124FighterWing #pilot executes an austere landing at the Freedom Landing Strip, #NationalTrainingCenterhttps://t.co/HQ6xjGohcs
#USAF BMT is changing this #summer! #Airmen will spend more time on weapons familiarization, along w/ additions of… https://t.co/wlHwtx7XWO
#USAF #Airmen continues the process of making his childhood dream of playing professional football come true. https://t.co/iAl70c8GXS
The opening of Cargo City successfully transitions operations from the #USAF & Coalition Abdullah Al-Mubarak Air Ba… https://t.co/K73PkhjpNY
RT @AirmanMagazine: It started as a dare between two pilots... The @usairforce Hurricane Hunters save lives by flying through hurricanes t…
RT @ActingSecAF: Thanks to this crew for making the right call and saving the life of a fellow service member. https://t.co/cP4KCIQFgD
The Space Test Program-2 will provide the #USAF with insight into the SpaceX booster recovery and refurbishing proc… https://t.co/qYhlj7Je9V
RT @ActingSecAF: Happy birthday @USArmy. 244 years of defending our nation. @SecArmy https://t.co/AfMoPxwbd8
RT @DeptofDefense: “They’re really noisy, but I love them.” This @USAirForce F-15 Eagle crew chief from the @142ndFW shares his motivation…
Today, America recognizes the birth of Old Glory with its own holiday. Flag Day was first celebrated in 1877 to mar… https://t.co/wqoEjdqQFy
#FollowFriday! @ActingSecAF Matthew Donovan is responsible for the affairs of the #USAF, including the organizing,… https://t.co/28IlKOKWMq
.@NellisAFB fixed wing aircrews are flight-testing new prototype helmets this summer, thanks in part to an accelera… https://t.co/4HSUGSk3Qg
The 2019 @warriorgames Opening Ceremony is set for 6/22 @AmalieArena w/@HunterHayes! Stay up to date with your… https://t.co/u34QuBnpdo
.@AETCommand's latest #podcast series dives into "Developing Mach-21 #Airmen," providing visibility on recruiting,… https://t.co/CGSHJonQAT
RT @ActingSecAF: Thanks to the support of Congress, the @usairforce is developing game changing technology. #fasterandsmarter https://t.co/…