Paul T. Cullen was born in Ica, Peru, May 30, 1901. He later moved to California, where he entered the service as a flying cadet in June, 1928.

A year later, after graduating from Air Force primary and advanced flying schools, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Air Reserve and in September, 1929, received his Regular Commission.

His first assignment was at Crissy Field, California, where he served with the 91st Observation Squadron. In September, 1930, he entered the Air Corps Technical School at Chanute Field, Illinois. Upon completing the photo course the following July he went to Mitchel Field, New York, where he served the following six years. During that time he commanded the Eighth and Fourteenth Photo Sections, and served with the 61st Service Squadron and the First, Fifth, and 99th Squadrons of the Ninth Observation Group. He was also a flight commander with the 97th Observation Squadron and operations officer in the 18th Reconnaissance Squadron.

In August, 1937, he entered the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Alabama. Upon graduation the following June he was assigned to Lowry Field, Colorado, as the base engineering officer for one year followed by two years as the chief instructor of the Photo Department.

In the summer of 1941, he was sent overseas as a military observer of the operations of the Royal Air Force in the Middle and Far East. Upon his return, he was assigned in November, 1941, to Headquarters of the Combat Command as Washington, D.C. In January, 1942, he was selected to head a special reconnaissance mission to Africa, and upon his return in July, was assigned as commander of the First Mapping Group, with headquarters in Washington D.C. He was relieved of this Command in June, 1943, following an aircraft accident in which he suffered a broken back.

With the removal of the cast, he was assigned to Air Force headquarters and in November, 1943, upon removal of the brace from his back, was sent overseas to command the Seventh Photo Group of the Eighth Air Force. The Seventh Photo Group, operating stripped P-38 aircraft, provided strategic photo reconnaissance for the Eighth Air Force.

In February, 1944, he was assigned on temporary duty with the U.S. Military Mission in Moscow for the purpose of setting up reconnaissance bases in the Ukraine. Upon completion of the negotiations for the establishment of these bases, he became deputy commander for operations of the Eastern Command of the U.S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe, with station in the Ukraine. In this capacity he made the first shuttle flight into the Ukraine in an unarmed F-5 on May 26, 1944. Early September he assumed command of the Second Bomb Group of the 15 Air Force in Italy.

Immediately after V_E Day, he returned to the United States for assignment to the Continental Air Command at Bolling Field and functioned as special assistant to the deputy commander for operations in radar bomb training. In connection with this assignment, he was sent to the Marianas in late July, 1945, and was operating with the 20th Air Force on V-J Day. Upon return in October, 1945, he was transferred to Air Force headquarters as chief of the Policy Branch.

He participated in Operation Crossroads as commander of the Air Force Photo Unit from January to August, 1946.
The following May he was appointed commander of the 311th Reconnaissance Wing at Strategic Air Command headquarters, Andrews Field, Maryland. He remained in command when the wing was redesignated the 311 Air Division, Reconnaissance, in April, 1948, and when it was moved to Topeka Air Force Base, Topeka, Kansas, in in July, 1948.

In March. 1949, when Major General J.H. Atkinson became commander of the 311 Division, General Cullen became his deputy.
General Cullen has been awarded the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters, Bronze Star Medal and Commendation Medal.

He is rated a Command Pilot, Combat Observer, and Technical Observer, and has over 8,000 flying hours.


He was promoted to first lieutenant (permanent) on March 20, 1935; and to captain (temporary) on May 18, 1935. He reverted to his permanent rank of first lieutenant on June 13, 1936, and was promoted to captain (permanent) September 4, 1939; to major (temporary) on March 15, 1941; to lieutenant colonel (temporary) on January 5, 1942; to colonel (temporary) on August 1, 1944; to major (permanent) on September 4, 1946; to colonel (permanent) on April 2, 1948; to brigadier general (temporary) on April 1, 1948.


Up-to-date as of 27 May 1949