HomeAbout UsBiographiesDisplay

LIEUTENANT GENERAL KEITH KARL COMPTON

PRINT | E-MAIL

Lt. Gen. Keith Karl Compton is vice commander in chief, Strategic Air Command, with headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., and as such he fulfills the responsibility of the commander in chief, Strategic Air Command, in his absence and acts as his principal assistant and advisor in the formulation of SAC policies, plans and directives.

General Compton was born in 1915 in St. Joseph, Mo., and graduated from Central High School there in 1933. He received his bachelor of arts degree from Westminster College at Fulton, Mo., in 1937. He entered military service in February 1938 as an aviation cadet at Randolph Field, Texas, and received his pilot's wings a year later.

General Compton spent the next two and a half years at Langley Field, Va., with the 2nd Bomb Wing, the first unit equipped with the B-17 Flying Fortress. In April 1942 he became commander of the 409th Bomb Squadron and later, at Fort Myers, Fla., operations officer for the 93rd Bomb Group.

In February 1943, General Compton became commander of the 376th Bomb Group in Africa and, on Aug. 1, 1943, led the famous air attack on the Ploesti oil refineries in Romania.

He was reassigned as assistant to the air chief of staff for operations, Fifteenth Air Force, in North Africa in March 1944 and returned to the United States in July that year as assistant deputy chief of staff for operations and training, Second Air Force, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Following several command assignments and graduation from the Air University, General Compton was assigned in June 1948 to the Air Proving Ground Command, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., as deputy for operations, a position he held until February 1953. It was during this tour of duty that General Compton, flying an F-86 Sabrejet, won the National Air Races Bendix Trophy for 1951, setting a new national speed record for the route.

In February 1953, General Compton transferred to SAC. Several successful command assignments in SAC resulted in his designation in September 1961 as SAC director of operations. In June of 1963 he became SAC's chief of staff.

In August 1964 he was assigned to be the inspector general, U.S. Air Force. Six months later he was designated the deputy chief of staff for plans and operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. With these duties he also became the Air Force's operations deputy sitting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the chief of staff, U.S. Air Force. He assumed his present position in February 1967.

Military decorations awarded General Compton include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with nine oak leaf clusters, the Air Force and the Army Commendation medals. In addition he holds his college's outstanding Alumni Achievement Award and is one of the few holders of aviation's famed Bendix Trophy.

(Current as of Feb. 1, 1967)

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @US_EUCOM: Flanked by @US_EUCOM Joint Color Guard, @POTUS makes #ArmisticeDay100 remarks at Suresnes American Cemetery on November 11, 2…
.@LukeAFB #K9 unit trained with @AZNationalGuard #Medics to familiarize themselves with giving dogs medical attenti… https://t.co/zVSMrUkucN
Reflections show us who we are. Strong, determined, lethal, always ready...we like what we are seeing.… https://t.co/zsWQwyMSj4
Originally known as “Armistice Day” to mark the end of WWI, #VeteransDay was officially established in 1954 by Pres… https://t.co/srjqsQD6FD
SOUND ON: Bells across the country will be tolling at 11 a.m. local time to mark the centennial of World War I & to… https://t.co/JyrdK1ZDnf
.@AirNatlGuard Aircrew Flight Equipment #Airmen help the176th Wing aircrew breathe easy. @JBER_newshttps://t.co/qh4fwPIoTi
#ICYMI: @ACC_Commander visited @TeamTyndall for the second time since #HurricaneMichael caused catastrophic damage… https://t.co/UdPGIsFW4S
RT @FallonTonight: Jimmy Fallon partners with @TMobile and uses a game of Whisper Challenge to reunite a military veteran with her active-d…
An #Airman tells her story of #surviving #domesticviolence and #abuse, overcoming pain for justice. @jointbasemdlhttps://t.co/pVWyNZPyVr
Happy Birthday to our sister service. #MarineCorpsBirthday https://t.co/8D0TIfyjRB
.@Macdill_AFB #Airman reunited with his wife and met his first child when he returned from #deployment.… https://t.co/TGjip4zZBA
#MoodyAFB #Airmen test their #CBRN survival skills in readiness exercise Flying Tiger. https://t.co/RfFk69gMPJ https://t.co/mLjvve07WA
RT @PACAF: .@374AirliftWing #Airmen conduct rapid airfield damage repair training, enhancing capabilities and improving infrastructure resi…
#Airmen from the @116ACW deployed to distribute supplies for #HurricaneMichael relief. @AirNatlGuardhttps://t.co/O4ojoyiRgy
RT @SecAFOfficial: Thanks to @elmo & @AbbyCadabbySST for stopping by to help me encourage kids to reach for the stars. Fueling the natural…
#TeamOsan #Airmen develop a new approach to weapon loading operations https://t.co/ByhGRF008j https://t.co/UFCw8AuPjI
.@USArmy and @USNavy helped out with the relief efforts to restore operations @TeamTyndall after #HurricaneMichael.… https://t.co/4VZwL5IvPb