Edward Harrison Alexander was born at Watseka, Ill., in 1902. In June 1926, while attending the University of Illinois, he was appointed a second lieutenant in the Air Corps Reserve. A year later he graduated from the university with a bachelor of arts degree and in August 1927 served a brief tour of duty with the Sixth Field Artillery Brigade.
In February 1928 General Alexander became a flying cadet and a year later graduated from the Air Corps Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, Texas, with the rating of pilot. In March 1929 he joined the 94th Pursuit Squadron at Selfridge Field, Mich., and in May of that year received his Regular Army commission in the Air Corps. In June 1929 he became supply officer of the 94th Pursuit Squadron, and in September 1930 was assigned to March Field, Calif., as flying instructor at the Air Corps Primary Flying School. In October 1930 he was transferred to Randolph Field, Texas, as a flying instructor.
General Alexander enrolled in September 1932 in the armament course at the Air Corps Technical School at Chanute Field, Ill., and graduated in March 1933. His next assignment with the 64th Service Squadron at March Field was followed in November 1933 by a transfer to the 17th Pursuit Group at that station. From February to May 1934 he served as an Army air mail pilot at Oakland, Calif. He then rejoined the 17th Pursuit Group at March Field, and in April 1935 became communications officer of the 17th Attack Group at that post.
In August 1937 General Alexander enrolled in the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Ala., and graduated in June 1938. He then was assigned to Randolph Field as flight commander, primary stage, at Air Corps Primary Flying School. From July 1939 to June 1940 he served as Air Crops supervisor at the Allen Hancock College of Aeronautics and as commanding officer of the Air Crops Training Detachment at Santa Maria, Calif.
General Alexander became assistant to the chief of the training section, Office of the Chief of the Air Corps, in July 1940. A year later he was named executive officer of the Air Corps Ferrying Command in that office, and in February 1942 was given an undisclosed overseas assignment. In November 1943 he was appointed commanding general of the Caribbean Wing of Air Transport Command, with station at West Palm Beach, Fla., with which he later served in the Pacific.
In August 1944 General Alexander became commanding general of the Southwest pacific Wing of the Pacific Division of Air Transport Command, with stations at Brisbane, Leyte and Manila. He returned to the United States in October 1945 as air inspector at Air Transport Command headquarters.
Transferred to Air Force headquarters in January 1946, General Alexander was name chief of the training division, Office of the Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Operations, which was transferred to the Office of the Director of Training and Requirements under the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations in September 1947, with General Alexander as chief. On Nov. 14 he was assigned to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, and that December was appointed chief of staff for operations of the Air Training Command at Barksdale Air Force Base, La.
Ordered to U.S. Air Forces in Europe headquarters at Wiesbaden, Germany, in May 1949, that July General Alexander became chief of staff of the Combined Airlift Task Force, European Command, assuming command of it in September 1949. A month later he was named commander of the 61st Troop Carrier Wing at Rhein-Main Air Base, Germany. In February 1951 he was appointed chief of the USAF Group, Joint Advisory Military Mission at Ankara, Turkey.
Joining the Tactical Air Command in September 1952, General Alexander was named deputy commanding general and chief of staff of the 18th Air Force (relieved as chief of staff July 1, 1954) at Donaldson Air Force Base, Greenville, S.C. On Oct. 16, 1954 he became acting commanding general of the 18th reverting to deputy commanding general Dec. 1, 1954.
His decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal. He is rated a command pilot, combat observer and aircraft observer.
(Up to date as of December 1954)