Brigadier General Ralph J. Hallenbeck is Secretary of the Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Belgium.
General Hallenbeck was born in Monett, Mo., in 1919. He graduated from Monett High School and Junior College in May 1939.
He attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and while there he attended primary pilot training at Muskogee, Okla., in June 1942 and completed basic and advanced pilot training in May 1943 at Stewart Field, N.Y. He graduated from West Point with a commission as a second lieutenant in June 1943 and then went to B-24 transition training at Smyrna, Tenn., and Boise, Idaho.
In March 1944 he was assigned to the 484th Bombardment Group as a B-24 flight commander and flew on combat missions from North Africa and Italy. He was shot down over Wiener Neustadt, Austria, badly burned and captured on May 29, 1944. He remained a prisoner of war until liberated in April 1945. During that time, he spent five months in various German prison camps and hospitals recuperating from injuries.
Upon his return to the United States, he was assigned to Headquarters Army Air Forces for duty with the assistant chief of staff-4, working on surplus aircraft allocations and surplus property disposal matters. In October 1947 he became executive to the director of procurement and industrial planning, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. He attended the Air Command and Staff School and the Air Force Logistics School 1950-1951. In May 1951 he returned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force and was assigned to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel where he served as chief of the General Officers Branch. In August 1957 he entered the Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
In July 1958 he went to Headquarters Pacific Air Forces where he served as assistant for personnel planning. In January 1960 he was assigned to the 6486th Air Base Wing, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, where he served successively as deputy for personnel, deputy for operations and deputy commander until August 1962.
General Hallenbeck went to the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo., where he was director of inspection for a year then chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force Academy. In June 1966 he was selected to be deputy secretary to the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, D.C. He was transferred in July 1968 to Headquarters Military Airlift Command at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., as deputy chief of staff for personnel. He assumed his current assignment in August 1969.
His military decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, Army Commendation Ribbon and Purple Heart.
(Current as of November 1972)