Died October 23,1997
Frederick Earl Calhoun was born in Ashe County, N.C., in 1907. He graduated from Elk Creek High School in 1924 and from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1928, receiving a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering.
He was appointed a flying cadet in February 1929 and graduated from primary and advanced schools in San Antonio, Texas. He was rated a pilot and commissioned a second lieutenant in the Air Reserve, Feb. 15, 1930. He received his regular commission as a second lieutenant in the Air Corps, May 8, 1930.
Lieutenant Calhoun was assigned to the famous Third Attack Group in Galveston, Texas, moving with the group to Barksdale Field, La., in March 1935.
In July 1937, Lieutenant Calhoun was transferred to Nichols Field, Philippine Islands. He joined the Third Observation Squadron at Langley Field, Va., in October 1939, and was named director of the Radio Controlled Target School at Biggs Field, Texas, in February 1942.
In April of 1942, Lieutenant Colonel Calhoun became executive of the Provisional Air Support Command at the Desert Training Center, Camp Young, Calif., and in August he assumed command of the Provisional Air Support Command at Leesville, La.
In October 1942, Colonel Calhoun was named chief of staff of the III Air Support Command at Birmingham Army Air Base, Ala.
In October 1943, he assumed command of the 89th Reconnaissance Training Wing at Will Rogers Field in Oklahoma, and was named commander of Will Rogers Field in September 1944.
Colonel Calhoun graduated from the Army and Navy Staff College in August 1945 and in October was assigned as chief of staff for operations of the Seventh Air Force in the Pacific theater. While in this assignment he conducted one of the most popular operations ever undertaken by the Seventh Air Force - that of returning war-weary airplanes and combat crews to the U.S. following the close of the war with Japan.
Colonel Calhoun joined the academic staff of the Air University in May 1946. In June 1948, he graduated from the Air War College.
After a short tour with the Far East Air Forces in Tokyo. He became assistant chief of staff/materiel of the 20th Air Force on Guam, Marianas Islands, becoming base commander of Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, in August 1949.
Colonel Calhoun graduated from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in June 1951 and subsequently was assigned to Air Force headquarters, Washington, D.C. There he served in the Directorate of Supply & Services as assistant for mutual security and director of industrial resources. He was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in August 1952.
From January 1955 to November 1957 he was the Air Force deputy commandant of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
General Calhoun was assigned as vice commandant of the Air War College in November 1957, and became commandant of the Command and Staff College, Air University, July 1, 1959.
In late 1941, General Calhoun, then a major, was selected to flight-test the first of the Army Air Corps guided missiles. This missile, dubbed "The Bug," had been designed by the late Dr. Charles F. "Boss" Kettering and a number of them produced for test purposes by the Research Division of General Motors which Dr. Kettering then headed. Basically a pilotless aircraft or aerial torpedo, "The Bug" was -except for the power plant - essentially the same as the German V-1. It had been designed for automatic flight with range, altitude and azimuth to be pre-set prior to launch. Radio control was used in the program to test and prove out the automatic features and to make possible recovery of the film record of the flights. The test flights were conducted at Muroc Dry Lake, Calif., and General Calhoun flew the test vehicles by radio control from the nose of a B-23.
He was flying No. 3 prototype on Dec. 7, 1941 when the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was announced. This was more than two and one-half years before the German V-1 was to be used against London for the first time.