Died July 13,1977
General Walter F. Kraus was born in New York City, N.Y., on Feb. 3, 1894. He graduated from Columbia University, N.Y., with the degree of civil engineer in 1915. On March 1, 1917, he became a second lieutenant in the Engineer Reserves, going on active duty on May 8, 1917. He was commissioned in the Regular Army as a second lieutenant, Coast Artillery Corps, on Oct. 25, 1917.
General Kraus first served at Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., with the Engineer Training Organization until 1917 when he was transferred to Camp Meade, Md., with the 304th Engineers. He was detailed for duty at Officers Training Camp at Fort Monroe, Va., between Dec. 1, 1917 and March 28, 1918, when he was ordered to Fort H.G. Wright, N.Y., with the Coast Defense of Long Island Sound. He moved to Camp Eustis, Va., in August 1918, and in December 1918 was ordered to Fort Ruger, Hawaii, with the Coast Defenses of Oahu, as an Artillery Officer. In August 1920 he proceeded to March Field, Calif., where he enrolled in the Air Service Pilots School, from which he graduated in April 1921. He graduated the same year from the Air Service Observation School at Fort Sill, Okla., remaining as an instructor at that school until June 1922 when he was transferred to Kelly Field, Texas. There he served as a group instructor, property officer and transportation officer. He assumed command of an Air Service Squadron at that field in April 1923, and became Post Adjutant at Kelly Field the following September.
The general enrolled in the Air Service Engineering School, McCook Field, Ohio, in August 1924, and graduated from the Aero Engineering Course at that school in June 1925. He was ordered to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, for technical studies. In September 1926 he was assigned as Chief of the Experimental Engineering Branch of the Office of the Chief of Air Corps, Washington, D.C. He was Assistant Executive in that office between July 1927 and September 1929. At that time he joined the 91st Observation Squadron at Crissy Field, Calif.
General Kraus enrolled in the Air Corps Tactical School, Maxwell Field, Ala., in August 1932, graduating in June 1933. One year later he graduated from the Army Industrial College, Washington, D.C., and in June 1935 from the Army War College, Washington, D.C. He then joined the Operations and Training Division of the War Department General Staff. He remained in Washington on this detail until June 1938 when he was ordered to duty as a Staff Officer and Airplane Pilot at Mitchel Field, N.Y. He moved to Hickam Field, Hawaii, as Operations Officer of the 18th Wing in November 1938, and two months later assumed command of the 5th Bombardment Group at that field. He became Executive Officer of the 18th Wing in April 1940. The general joined the Training and Operations Division of the Office of the Chief of Air Corps, Washington, D.C., on Jan. 13, 1941. He was assigned on May 1, 1942, to command the Basic Training Command of the Gulf Coast Air Corps Training Center. (Assignments current as of May 20, 1942)
First lieutenant, Oct. 25, 1917; captain (temporary), May 18, 1918. He reverted to his permanent rank of first lieutenant on March 9, 1920; captain, July 1, 1920; major, Aug. 1, 1935; lieutenant colonel (temporary), Aug. 26, 1936; lieutenant colonel (permanent), Aug. 18, 1940; colonel (temporary), Nov. 16, 1940; brigadier general (temporary), April 19, 1942; major general (temporary), March 16, 1945.