LIEUTENANT GENERAL HOWARD ARNOLD CRAIG
Died October 01,1977
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During the desert campaigns of North Africa, General Craig led the XII Air Support Command. Five years later he became commander-in-chief of the Alaskan Department. Craig was inspector general from 1949 until 1952.
Howard Arnold Craig was born in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1897. He enlisted in the Signal Corps' Aviation Section in November 1917. Craig attended the school of Military Aeronautics at Princeton University and served at Camp Dick, Texas; Selfridge Field, Mich., and Hazelhurst Field, Long Island. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Aviation Section in June 1918 and two years later was appointed a first lieutenant in the Regular Army's Air Service. Craig served in various field, staff and school assignments for the next 13 years, and attended the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwe11 Field in 1932. He was advanced to captain in October 1933. Craig went to the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., graduating in June 1936 and becoming major in August.
He was assigned first to Headquarters, 2d Wing of General Headquarters Air Force at Langley Field, Va., and later as commanding officer of the 21st Reconnaissance Squadron. Craig went to Washington in May 1940 as assistant to chief of Air Corps, Plans Division and was promoted to lieutenant colonel in March 194l. He became assistant chief of air staff for plans in February 1942, one month after advancement to colonel.
Colonel Craig went to England in June 1922, and became assistant chief of air staff, G-3, of the European Theater, receiving his first star that August. Two months later he was named deputy chief of staff for Air, European Theater of Operations and North Africa. He next was assigned commanding general of the XII Air Support Command. Craig was one of the few Allied officers familiar with Western Desert practice. He had accompanied Tedder on his return to the Middle East in December and spent a good deal of time with Montgomery in Tripolitania discussing the current thinking on army-air operations. In February 1943 Craig became chief of staff of the Mediterranean Air Command.
Craig returned to the United States as assistant chief of air staff for operations, commitments and requirements at Headquarters Army Air Force in August 1943 and in the following February was promoted to major general. He was assigned to the Office of the Chief of Staff, Army, with Operations Division of the War Department General Staff in October 1943.
General Craig became commanding general of the Alaskan Department in June 1946 and on Jan. 1, 1947 was appointed commander-in-chief, Alaska. That October he was designated deputy chief of staff for materiel in the newly created Department of the Air Force, and was promoted to lieutenant general. Craig was appointed inspector general of the Air Force in September 1949. He insisted that inspection should not be a career field. Officers often lost contact with the field and its problems after prolonged inspection duty, so Craig established a rotation policy with a maximum of three year tours of duty for officers.
Craig became commandant of the National War College in July 1952 and in the following February received an additional appointment as chairman of the Inter-American Defense Board. He retired on June 30, 1955.
His awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster; the Legion of Merit; World War I and II Victory medals; the American Defense Service Medal; the European-Africa-Middle East Theater Medal; Commander, Order of the British Empire; Chevalier, French Legion of Honor; French Croix de Guerre with Palm.