Brigadier General Walter J. Bacon is deputy commander, Caribbean Contingency Joint Task Force in Key West, Fla.
General Bacon was born in Knoxville, Tenn., where he graduated from Knoxville High School in 1946. After one year at the University of Tennessee, he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and graduated with a bachelor of science degree and commission as second lieutenant in 1951. General Bacon earned a master of arts degree in English from the University of Southern California in 1957, and graduated from the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in 1964, and the National War College at Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C., in 1971.
General Bacon attended flight training at Bartow Air Force Base, Fla., and Bryan Air Force Base, Texas, and received his pilot wings in August 1952. He attended gunnery school at Pinecastle Air Force Base, Fla., before being assigned to the 69th Fighter-Bomber Squadron at Taegu Air Base, South Korea, in December 1952. During the Korean War he flew 81 combat missions in F-84G Thunderjets.
In the fall of 1953 General Bacon transferred to Moody Air Force Base, Ga., to serve as an instructor pilot in the instrument and the all-weather interceptor schools. In June 1958, after graduate studies, he joined the faculty of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo., as an English instructor and later served as an air officer commanding (tactical officer).
In 1965, after completing F-100 (jet fighter) training, General Bacon was assigned to the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing, Royal Air Force Station Lakenheath, England. He served as operations officer for the 494th Tactical Fighter Squadron, and later as chief of the Wing Operational Control Division.
In May 1968 he transferred to the Republic of Vietnam where he commanded the F-1OOF Misty Strike Control and Reconnaissance Detachment at Tuy Hoa Air Base and then Phu Cat Air Base. From December 1968 until May 1969, he was chief of the Special Actions Branch of the Operations Division, Seventh Air Force at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Saigon.
From May 1969 to August 1970, General Bacon was deputy executive assistant to the undersecretary of the Air Force, Dr. John L. McLucas. He then entered the National War College and upon graduation in June 1971 joined the faculty.
General Bacon became vice commander of the 58th Tactical Fighter Training Wing at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., in July 1972. He was commander of the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing, Homestead Air Force Base, Fla., from March 1975 until June 1976.
He was assigned to Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va., in July 1976 as assistant deputy chief of staff, plans. In October 1976 he became the command's inspector general and was selected to be deputy chief of staff for logistics in August 1977. He became the command's chief of staff in March 1979. In October 1979 he was assigned to his present position.
He is a command pilot. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 11 oak leaf clusters and Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster.
General Bacon was promoted to brigadier general April 1, 1977, with date of rank March 30, 1977.
(Current as of May 1980)