Died March 03,1990
Brigadier General William Douglas Dunham is vice commander, Third Air Force, U.S. Air Forces in Europe.
General Dunham was born in Tacoma, Wash., in 1920. He graduated from the Nezperce High School at Nezperce, Idaho, and attended the University of Idaho at Moscow, Idaho, from 1937 to 1940. He completed the Air Corps Primary and Basic Flying schools at Santa Monica and Moffett Field, Calif., and graduated from Advanced Flying School at Luke Field, Ariz., receiving a commission as second lieutenant Dec. 12, 1941.
General Dunham was assigned as a pilot with the 53rd Fighter Group from December 1941 to September 1942 at Tallahassee, Fla., and later Howard Field, Canal Zone. He next served as test pilot with the 1st Fighter Command, N.Y., until November 1942, and as a pilot with the 342nd Fighter Squadron, Bradley Field, Conn., through December 1942.
In January 1943, General Dunham deployed with the 342nd Fighter Squadron in Australia and New Guinea and served as operations officer and later commander. In July 1944, he became commander of the 460th Fighter Squadron in New Guinea and remained in this position until December 1944, when he became operations officer of the 348th Fighter Group, Philippine Islands.
In January 1945, General Dunham returned to the United States and attended gunnery school at Foster Field Texas, until May 1945. Upon graduation, he immediately returned to the 348th Fighter Group in the Philippine Islands and continued to serve as operations officer and later became deputy commander.
In January 1946, following World War II, he was assigned as commander of Squadron B, 464th Army Air Force Base Unit, McChord Field, Wash., the position he held from February 1946 to May 1946. From May 1946 to June 1948, General Dunham was assigned to Selfridge Field, Mich., as operations officer, 56th Fighter Group; commander, 62nd Fighter Squadron; and assistant chief of supplies and later commander of the 56th Maintenance and Supply Group.
General Dunham was assigned in August 1948 as chief, Fighter Unit Training Section, Operations Division, Headquarters Strategic Air Command, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and later at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. He next served as deputy chief and later chief, Fighter Division, Directorate of Operations, Headquarters Strategic Air Command.
General Dunham departed SAC, in June 1951, to successively serve at Turner Air Force Base, Ga., as commander, rear echelon; director of operations; and deputy commander of the 31st Strategic Fighter Wing; and director of operations, Headquarters, 40th Air Division.
The general departed Turner in April 1954, to become director of operations, 407th Strategic Fighter Wing, Great Falls Air Force Base, Mont., and later Far East Air Forces; he held the position until March 1955.
His next assignment was as deputy commander, 71st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Larson Air Force Base, Wash., from March 1955 until June 1956. His next two years were spent at Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas, as commander, 12th Strategic Fighter Wing (redesignated as 12th Fighter Day Wing) and as deputy commander, 27th Fighter Bomber Wing.
From July 1958 until August 1961, he served in England as director of operations, 81st Tactical Fighter Wing. Returning to the United States, General Dunham spent the next year as commander, 479th Tactical Fighter Wing, George Air Force Base, Calif. This was followed in July 1962 by assignment as commander, 831st Air Division, also at George. He was assigned to Headquarters Twelfth Air Force as deputy for operations in July 1963; and the following month his promotion to brigadier general became effective.
In August 1966, General Dunham was assigned as deputy chief of staff for operations, Seventh Air Force, Vietnam.
His decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star with oak leaf cluster Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with three oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters and the Air Force Commendation Medal.
(Current as of Feb. 1, 1967)