Died December 26,2002
Brigadier General Paul P. Douglas Jr., is commander, 836th Air Division, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.
General Douglas was born in Paragould, Ark., in 1919. He graduated from high school there in 1938 and attended Arkansas State Teachers College. In April 1941 he entered the aviation cadet program and received his pilot wings and commission as a second lieutenant in December 1941 at Victoria Field, Texas.
During World War II, he flew the P-47 Thunderbolt in the European Theater of Operations and became one of the most highly decorated combat aces of the war. He was credited with shooting down eight planes in the air and destroying 27 enemy planes on the ground. He completed a total of 136 combat missions and 337 combat hours while serving as commander of the 396th Fighter Squadron, vice commander of the 368th Fighter Group, and later as commander of the 36th Fighter Group in Belgium, France and Germany. On two occasions, he shot down three enemy aircraft in one flight, was recommended for the Medal of Honor, and twice received the Distinguished Service Cross.
Following the war, he entered Texas Christian University and received his bachelor of science degree in business administration in June 1948. He then returned to his former wartime organization, the 36th Fighter Wing, at Furstenfeldbruck, Germany, as commander of the 22d Fighter Squadron until December 1949.
He returned to the United States in January 1950 and he served as jet operations officer at Tactical Air Command Headquarters, Langley Air Force Base, Va.; was an instructor in the first class of the Air-Ground Operations School at Ninth Air Force Headquarters, Pope Air Force Base, N.C., where he organized the Forward Air Controllers School and the first jumptrained FAC School at Pope. He next went to George Air Force Base, Calif., and served as commander of the 21st Fighter Bomber Group, an F-86 Sabre unit.
From 1954 to 1958, he served as chief of the Fighter Branch, Flight Safety Research Division, 1002d Inspector General Group at Norton Air Force Base, Calif. In February 1958 he went to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Defense College in Paris. In August 1958 he went to Keflavik, Iceland, as commander of the 1400th Operations Group, Iceland Air Defense Forces, flying the F-89 Scorpion.
In August 1959 he was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., as assistant for Flight Missile and Nuclear Safety in the Office of the Inspector General. He returned to Norton Air Force Base in 1963 as deputy director of Aerospace Safety.
General Douglas went to Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., as director of operations for the Tactical Air Command's 832d Air Division in June 1964 and in September assumed command of the 474th Tactical Fighter Wing there. In July 1965 he was assigned as commander of the 41st Air Division, Yokota Air Base, Japan. In January 1968 he went to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, as commander of the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, flying F-105 Thunderchiefs on combat missions over North Vietnam.
In February 1969 he was assigned as commander, 836th Air Division, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.
He is a command pilot with more than 6,000 flying hours. His military decorations include two Distinguished Service Crosses, three Silver Stars, two Legions of Merit, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, 38 Air Medals, four Air Force Commendation Medals, the Army Commendation Medal, two Purple Hearts, three Presidential Unit Citations Emblems, the French Croix de Guerre with Etoile de Vermeil, the Belgian Fourragere, the British Distinguished Flying Cross, and the third order of the Sacred Treasure from Japan.
(Current as of April 15, 1969)