GENERAL MUIR S. FAIRCHILD
Died March 17,1950
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General Muir Stephen Fairchild was former vice chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force. He was born in 1894 at Bellingham, Wash., and died March 17, 1950 at Fort Myer, Va.
Muir Fairchild entered the service as a sergeant in the Washington National Guard in June 1916. A year later he became a flying cadet at Berkeley, Calif., and went to Europe to complete his training in France and Italy, getting his wings and commission in the Aviation Section in January 1918. He flew bombers in World War I, including night missions over the Rhine with the French forces.
In December 1918 he returned home and served at McCook Field, Ohio; Mitchel Field, N.Y., and Langley Field, Va., chiefly in engineering assignments. Between Dec. 21, 1926 and May 2, 1927 he flew to South America in the Pan American good-will tour and received the Distinguished Flying Cross. He completed the course in the Air Corps Engineer School at Wright Field in June 1929 and went to Santa Monica, Calif., as Air Corps representative to Douglas Aircraft Co. He was promoted to captain in January 1931.
In the 1930s he was graduated from the Air Corps Tactical School, the Army Industrial College, and the Army War College. He was promoted to major in June 1936 and returned to Maxwell Field, Ala. as an instructor. He rose to director of air tactics and strategy in July 1939, with promotion to lieutenant colonel in November 1940. Fairchild then went to the Plans Division in Washington and in June 1941 was named secretary of the newly formed Air Staff. Two months later he was advanced two grades to brigadier general and named assistant chief of Air Corps.
In March 1942 he became director of military requirements and was promoted to major general in August. In November he became a member of the Joint Strategic Survey Committee of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In January 1946 he was named commandant of Air University at Maxwell Field, with promotion to lieutenant general. On May 27, 1948 he became vice chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, with the rank of four-star general. General Fairchild died at Fort Myer, Va., March 17, 1950 while on active duty as vice chief of staff.