BRIGADIER GENERAL STERLING PETER BETTINGER
Died August 03,2007
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Brigadier General Sterling Peter Bettinger is assistant chief of staff, North American Air Defense Command and Continental Air Defense Command.
General Bettinger was born in Chittenango, N.Y., in 1915. He attended Chittenango High School and graduated from Syracuse University in 1937 with a degree in mathematics and education.
After flight training and commissioning as a second lieutenant pilot in 1941, he ferried aircraft to overseas theaters during World War II and eventually became an aircraft commander on the "Fireball" run between Miami, Fla., and India via South America and central Africa.
Assigned to Germany in 1948, General Bettinger served on the Berlin airlift for 15 months as assistant air traffic control officer of the Combined Airlift Task Force. He was credited with developing many of the air traffic control procedures for that operation.
In 1949 he was called from Athens, Greece, where he was a military air transport detachment commander, to Japan to organize the original contingent of the 315th Air Division (Combat Cargo) after the outbreak of the Korean war.
Some of his other assignments were chief pilot for Military Air Transport Service; chief of transport operations at Headquarters U.S. Air Force from 1953 to 1957; and commander of the 1503d Air Transport Wing in Japan.
From 1961 through 1965, General Bettinger served as assistant deputy chief of staff, plans, and as deputy chief of staff, personnel, in the headquarters of Military Air Transport Service at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. He remained in this assignment until October 1965, when he took over as director of plans and policy, North American Air Defense Command, with headquarters at Colorado Springs, Colo. He became assistant chief of staff NORAD and CONAD Aug. 1, 1968.
The general's decorations include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal and the Army Commendation Medal.
(Current as of Sept. 1, 1966)