Died February 23,2001
General Gabriel P. Disosway is commander of the U.S. Air Force Tactical Air Command. This command maintains peak combat efficiency in the tactical missions of fighter, reconnaissance and assault airlift. It further trains air and ground crews as required for the overseas commands of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Pacific Air Forces.
A native of Pomona, Calif., General Disosway graduated from Wichita Falls High School, Wichita Falls, Texas in 1927 and then attended Oklahoma University. He entered the U.S. Military Academy in July 1929, graduated and was commissioned a second lieutenant of Field Artillery in June 1933. He entered Primary Flying School at Randolph Field, Texas, and upon completion of the course, transferred to the Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, Texas, from which he graduated in October 1934. He transferred from the Field Artillery to the Air Corps in January 1935.
General Disosway's first assignments were with the 71st Service and 55th Pursuit Squadrons at Barksdale Field, La. He was transferred to Randolph Field as a primary flying instructor in March 1938 and remained there until January 1942, serving as an instructor and flight and stage commander.
He then went to Lake Charles Field, La., as director of flying, and in June 1942, returned to Randolph as director of training. He was appointed commander of Bryan Army Air Base, Texas, in January 1943.
In April 1943, General Disosway went to Panama as commander of the 37th Fighter Group. He later served as air inspector and deputy commander of the 26th Fighter Command in Panama and trained the First Brazilian Fighter Group which went to Italy. In September 1944 he was assigned as commander of Ephrata Army Air Base, Wash.
In January 1945, General Disosway was transferred to China as operations officer of the 312th Fighter Wing. He assumed command of the 311th Fighter Group in May 1945, and in July of the same year took command of the 312th Fighter Wing. In August he was named Army Air Force Liaison Officer with the Third Amphibious-Marine Corps in Tientsin, China.
General Disosway returned to the United States in April 1946, to become assistant commander of Barksdale Field. He entered the Air War College at Maxwell Field, Ala., in 1947. Upon graduation, he was appointed chief of the Training Division in the Directorate of Training and Requirements at Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
In February 1951, he became director of training in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, at Headquarters U.S. Air Force. He next was named commander of Air Training Command's Flying Training Air Force in September 1952, with headquarters at Waco, Texas. After nearly five years in this position, he assumed command of the 12th Air Force, with headquarters at Ramstein, Germany.
In January 1958, he became deputy commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Advanced Operations Unit at Ramstein, becoming commander of the 17th Air Force, also at Ramstein, in November 1959.
Returning to the United States during June 1960, General Disosway was assigned duty as senior Air Force member, Military Studies and Liaison Division, Weapons Systems Evaluation Group, Office of the Secretary of Defense (Research and Engineering). In mid-1961 he was promoted to lieutenant general and assigned as vice commander, Tactical Air Command. General Disosway became deputy chief of staff, operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, in November 1962. This position was redesignated as deputy chief of staff, programs and requirements in February 1963.
In August 1963, he assumed command of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Wiesbaden, Germany. Returning to the United States in July 1965 he assumed command of the Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va.
A command pilot, General Disosway has received numerous awards and decorations including the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal, Chinese Cloud and Banner, Chinese Order of Yun Hui and Brazilian Southern Cross.
(Current as of Feb. 1, 1966)