BRIGADIER GENERAL JOHN W. BASKA
Died February 23,2009
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Brig. Gen. John W. Baska is the director of inspection, Deputy Inspector General for Inspection and Safety, Headquarters U.S. Air Force with headquarters at Norton Air Force Base, San Bernardino, Calif.
General Baska was born in Kansas City, Kan., in 1917. He attended elementary and high schools in that city, and graduated from Kansas State College at Manhattan, with a bachelor of science degree in engineering in 1939. He was commissioned a second lieutenant, Air Corps Reserve, in September 1942.
During World War II, General Baska served as a pilot in Africa, India, Burma and China. After his return to the United States in August 1945, he was assigned as chief, Navigation Aids Division, Headquarters Air Transport Command, Washington, D.C. He participated in initial planning for establishment of the Military Air Transport Service (now the Military Airlift Command) and was assigned to that command at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., when it was formally established in 1948. In October 1951 he was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force as deputy chief, Civil Air Division, Directorate of Plans.
He was appointed air attache to Iran and served in that country from January 1957 until August 1959. He returned to the United States to attend the National War College and upon graduation was assigned as a member of the Middle East Division, J-3, Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington. After two years on the Joint Staff, he became chief of the Counterinsurgency Operations Division, Directorate of Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.
From February 1963 to June 1964 the general served as assistant deputy director for tactical and transport forces, and as executive officer for the Directorate of Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for his outstanding performance of duty during this period. In July 1964 he was assigned to Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, as assistant deputy chief of staff, plans and operations. General Baska also served as assistant chief of staff, Pacific Air Forces, in 1965-1966, receiving the first oak leaf cluster to the Legion of Merit for his outstanding performance from 1964 to 1966.
General Baska attended The George Washington University evenings from 1952-1955, earning a juris doctor law degree; Department of Defense Strategic Intelligence School in 1956, and the U.S. Air Force Special Investigations School in 1966. He holds the rating of command pilot.
In August 1966 he was assigned to the Directorate of Special Investigations in Washington, first as special assistant to the director and then as chief, Office of Inspections. In 1967 he was appointed Deputy Director of Special Investigations. He was assigned as director of inspection, Deputy Inspector General for Inspection and Safety in August 1968.
(Current as of Sept. 15, 1968)