BRIGADIER GENERAL WILLIAM C. BACON
Died March 08,2008
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General Bacon is a dynamic Air Force leader with a penchant for flying. As a young man, he had an opportunity to play professional baseball and to attend West Point. He gave up both to enter pilot training prior to World War II.
While he was director of operations and commander of two medium bombardment wings both received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, attesting to his ability as a leader and commander.
In August 1943 he was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action while participating in aerial combat against the enemy in the Middle East theater. Once, after completion of a bombing run on assigned targets, his plane suffered a direct hit from enemy anti-aircraft fire, causing loss of all rudder control and hydraulic systems. Although unable to stay in formation, he and his crew were able to destroy one enemy fighter aircraft and fight off others. They returned the damaged bomber, landing at night without damage to plane or crew.
On June 1, 1962, General Bacon took command of the 12th Strategic Aerospace Division. Following more than two years as commander of the 12th, General Bacon was reassigned as commander of the 22nd Strategic Aerospace Division, Walker Air Force Base, N.M.
General Bacon's military career began in September 1940. After completing flying training at Kelly Field, Texas, he was commissioned a second lieutenant on April 26, 1941. His first assignment was with the 15th Observation Squadron at Fort Sill, Okla.
In 1947 he was selected to attend the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. Later he became commander of the 6th Bombardment Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.
He was then moved to Headquarters U.S. Air Force as chief of the plans and programs branch for the Director of Plans and Operations.
Following that tour, in 1953, he held a series of positions in the Far East, returning to the United States in July 1954. A year later he became base commander of Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. In June 1957 he assumed the position of director of operations for the 9th Bombardment Wing at Mountain Home Air Force Base.
In November 1958 he was transferred to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base as commander of the 303rd Bombardment Wing.
General Bacon has been awarded the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal, and Air Force Commendation Medal.
He is a rated command pilot and during World War II flew forty combat missions, totaling 326 combat hours in the European Theater of Operations.
(Current as of November 1964)