Died August 15,2010
Lieutenant General Devol Brett is commander of Allied Air Forces Southern Europe, with headquarters at Naples, Italy, and commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe's Sixteenth Air Force based at Torrejon Air Base, Spain.
General Brett was born at the Presidio of San Francisco, Calif., in 1923, the son of Lieutenant General George H. Brett, U.S. Army Air Corps. A 1945 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., the general was commissioned as a pilot in the Army Air Corps.
General Brett's initial assignment was to flight training, where he earned his wings as a fighter pilot. After transition training, he attended the Army Air Corps Junior Officers Course at Orlando, Fla. In 1946, he went to Horsching, Austria, and served with the 79th Fighter Group. In 1947, he was assigned to the 86th Fighter Wing at Munich, Germany. He returned to the United States in 1948 and was assigned as a student and then instructor at the Air Tactical School, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.
During the Korean Conflict, General Brett flew with the 18th Fighter Wing and logged 100 combat missions in P-51 aircraft. Upon completion of his tour in 1951, he served as a senior duty officer in the Joint Operations Center of Fifth Air Force at Seoul.
Returning to the United States in 1952, he took command of an F-84 squadron at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., and in 1953 was selected to attend the Royal Air Force Staff College at Bracknell, Berkshire, England. Upon completion of the course, he joined the 79th Fighter-Bomber Squadron at Royal Air Force Station Woodbridge, Suffolk, England.
In April 1957, General Brett became commander of the F-100-equipped 355th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, S.C. His unit made four major deployments to Europe and participated in both the Lebanese Crisis of 1958 and the Berlin Crisis of 1961.
In July 1962, General Brett was assigned to the Tactical Air Command as commander of its 4452d Standardization and Evaluation Squadron at Waco, Texas, subsequently commanding the 4450th Standardization and Evaluation Group at Langley Air Force Base, Va. In 1964 he entered the National War College and upon graduation in 1965 was assigned to the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon as a member of the Operations Directorate. He earned a master's degree in international affairs from The George Washington University at Washington, D.C., in 1966.
General Brett joined the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing in July 1967 in the Republic of Vietnam to serve as vice commander. During his tour, he flew more than 100 missions in F-4C fighter aircraft, was shot down over North Vietnam and rescued before being captured. In February 1968 he was assigned to Headquarters Seventh Air Force as deputy director of the Tactical Air Control Center at Tan Son Nhut Air Base.
General Brett was named commander of the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing at Royal Air Force Station Bentwaters, England, in September 1968. In September 1969 he became inspector general for Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe at Lindsey Air Station, Germany.
In September 1970 he was assigned to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (International Security Affairs) as the director, Near East and South Asia Region.
General Brett became the senior U.S. military officer in Iran in 1973 as chief of the U.S. Military Mission with the Iranian armed forces and the U.S. Military Assistance Advisory Group to Iran.
He was appointed the U.S. Representative to the Permanent Military Deputies Group and chief, U.S. Element, Central Treaty Organization in September 1975. With this assignment, he was promoted to the grade of lieutenant general Sept. 1, 1975.
General Brett assumed his present duties on Aug. 1, 1977.
His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Silver Star, Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with seven oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Purple Heart, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, and from the Republic of Vietnam, the Gallantry Cross with gold star and the Vietnamese Air Force Pilot Wings.
(Current as of February 1978)