Major General Harold Huntley Bassett was born in Albion, Ill., in April 1907. After preliminary schooling in Albion and two years at St. John's Military Academy, Delafield, Wis., he entered the U.S. Military Academy in 1925. Upon graduation in l929 he was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers but went directly into flying training and upon completion thereof was transferred to the Air Corps. After approximately five years of squadron officer duties in Hawaii and at Randolph Field, Texas, General Bassett took the course in meteorology at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif., and, in 1937, when the Air Weather Service was first organized, he commanded one of the three original weather squadrons.
Leaving the weather service in 1940, he was again assigned to Hawaii where he performed administrative and staff type duties; however, he was selected to participate in the first mass flight of B-l7s from the mainland to Hawaii and, for his part therein, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Shortly after the outbreak of the U.S.-Japanese hostilities in World War II, General Bassett was assigned to the Naval War College a student. Upon completion of this course he returned once again to the Weather Service, where he remained -- in Washington and Europe -- until shortly after the end of the war. For his services during this period, General Bassett received the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster and the Bronze Star Medal.
Upon his return to the United States in 1947, General Bassett attended the National War College and then spent the following three years in the Joint Staff.
In 1951 he was assigned to the recently organized U.S. Air Force Security Service as deputy commander and in 1953 succeeded to the command of that organization -- a position he held until 1957 when he became deputy commander, Taiwan Defense Command. There were two promotions during this period: to brigadier general on Sept. 5, 1952 and to major general on Oct. 27, 1954.
Returning to the United States in November 1958, General Bassett was assigned as commander, Air Weather Service, Headquarters Air Weather Service, Military Air Transport Service, Scott AFB, Ill.