Brigadier General George H. Beverley's career with the Air Force from the beginning of World War I to the end of World War II, is an outstanding example of the work of those men who were pioneers of military aviation in 1917 and who helped lead the United States to victory in 1945.
As a 21-year-old junior officer in World War I, he was fired with enthusiasm for the gradually-unfolding picture of military air power as a defensive arm of the nation. During the years between the two world wars, he fanned his enthusiasm, studying and teaching the doctrines of air power in preparation for the day when another emergency would threaten his country. And when, in 1941, the emergency came, he was ready.
He was born in Amarillo, Texas, in 1897, attended high school at Carlsbad, N.M., and graduated from high school at Dalhart, Texas. In 1915, he entered Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College, which he left two years later to become a flying cadet in the Air Service.
After attending ground school at the University of Texas at Austin and training at Kelly Field, Texas, he received his wings and a commission as a temporary second lieutenant in the Air Service in July 1918.
His first assignment was as a flying instructor at Kelly Field. From there he went to Brooks Field, Texas, and then to Souther Field, Ga. His services as an instructor were in such demand that he was denied an opportunity for overseas duty. After serving at Park Field, Tenn., Carlstrom Field, Fla., and Call Field, Texas, he was mustered out of the service in October 1919.
After a series of adventures as a barnstorming pilot traveling through Texas and New Mexico for the Bivens Airplane Company of Amarillo, he returned to the Air Service as a Regular Army second lieutenant. His first real assignment was as an instructor at the flying school at Post Field, Okla., and when that school closed in June 1922, he moved to Kelly Field, where he continued his duties as an instructor.
In 1923, an event occurred which made a deep impression on the young officer, and helped to form his later philosophy of air power. Assigned to temporary duty at Langley Field, Va., he took part in General "Billy" Mitchell's experimental bombing of two obsolete naval vessels, the West Virginia and the New Jersey, off Cape Hatteras on Sept. 5, 1923. Lt. Beverley helped to "finish off" one of the vessels, both of which were sunk by air bombing.
Later that same month, he flew a Fokker T-2 transport in a bombing race which formed a part of the National Air Races for 1923.
In the spring of 1924, he was ordered to the Philippine Islands, where he was stationed at Camp Stotsenburg with the Third Pursuit Squadron.
Returning to the United States in 1926, he was assigned to Brooks Field, Texas, first as a flying instructor and later in command of "A Stage" training, with a staff of 23 instructors. In 1928, he again returned to Kelly Field to assume command of the Attack Section of the flying school. The following year he took three months' leave during which he acted as director of flying training of the privately-owned Art Geebel Flying School at Kansas City, Mo. On his return to Kelly Field, he became commander of the 43rd Pursuit Squadron and chief instructor in pursuit flying.
In 1932, he entered the Air Corps Technical School at Maxwell Field, Ala., from which he graduated in June 1933. He then went to Boston, Mass., as instructor for the Massachusetts National Guard Squadron. In the fall of 1933 he entered the navigation school at Langley Field, Va., and was held over as instructor for the next class. He took part in the Air Corps operation of the air mail lines from February to May, 1934.
The following February he went to the Panama Canal Zone to assume command of the 29th Pursuit Squadron and a year later became group operations officer of Albrook Field, Canal Zone.
In the spring of 1937, he returned to the United States for assignment to Barksdale Field, La., and in August 1937, entered the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Upon graduation in June 1938, he was assigned to the office of the Chief of Air Corps and stationed at Patterson Field, Ohio, as technical supervisor for the Central States, reporting to the Director of Technical Inspection at Washington.
The day after the United States declared war on Germany and Japan he was ordered to Washington to take charge of all technical inspection s for the Air Force. In the pursuance of this duty, he made an inspection of the northeastern air route to England, by way of Newfoundland, Labrador, Greenland and Iceland in July 1942, returning by way of Iceland and Newfoundland.
In September 1942, he was ordered to England for duty with the newly-activated 12th Air Force under Lieutenant General James Doolittle. Two months later, immediately after the invasion of North Africa, he moved with his organization to Oran, Algeria, and took charge of the Second Air Service Area Command under the 12th Air Force Service Command. As the troops advanced in the North African campaign he moved to Constantine, Algeria, and became commander of the First Air Service Area Command. In June 1943, shortly after the capture of Tunis, he moved his headquarters into that city. A month later he moved with his organization into Catania, Sicily, and the following September assumed command of the 51st Troop Carrier Wing in that city.
In March 1944, he assumed command of the 15th Air Force Service Command at Dari, Italy.
The following October he returned to the United States to become Air Inspector of the newly-reorganized Air Materiel Command at Wright-Field, Ohio. In April 1945, he assumed command of the San Antonio Materiel Command at Kelly Field, Texas.
In September 1947, he was appointed military attache and military air attache at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Returning to the United States in October 1948, he was assigned to U.S. Air Force headquarters in Washington, D.C., and the following March assumed command of the San Antonio Air Materiel Area at Kelly Air Force Base, Texas.
General Beverley has been awarded the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster. His foreign decorations include the Mexican Medal of Military Merit, First Class; the Necklet Paotang awarded him by the Chinese Government for his work in connection with the training of Chinese students at the San Antonio Air Materiel command, and the Order of Military Merit in the grade of Commander presented him by the Brazilian Government for services rendered as military and air attache to Brazil.
He is rated a command pilot, combat observer, and aircraft observer.
General Beverley speaks the Spanish language fluently and has many friends in Latin American Military circles. A skillful polo player, he has been on teams which have won at least 20 trophies. In 1932, his team won the championship of the Southwestern Circuit and three years later his Canal Zone team played in Ecuador at the invitation of the Ecuadorian Government. Golf and bridge are his principal hobbies.
(Up to date as of July 1949)