Brigadier General George Luke Usher

George Luke Usher was born on March 3, 1890, at New York, New York. He enlisted and served in federal service as a private, Battery D, 2nd Field Artillery, New York National Guard, on border patrol duty, from June 1916 to January 1917, and was commissioned a second lieutenant, Field Artillery Reserve, on August 15, 1917. He was promoted to first lieutenant in the National Guard, on November 14, 1917. He transferred to Aviation Section Signal Reserve Corps, November 14, 1917, and was commissioned a first lieutenant, Air Service, Regular Army, on July 1, 1920.


He served with the 104th and 106th Field Artillery, 27th Division, National Guard. He was graduated from the Aerial Observers School, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and the Aerial Gunnery School, Mt. Clemens, Michigan, and then served with various Aviation Concentration stations in the United States from August 1917 to June 1918. His next service was with the 135th Aero Squadron with the American Expeditionary Forces in France from July 1918 to February 1919, as Observer and Aerial Gunner. While serving in France he participated in the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne Offensive and Defensive Sector.

Upon his return to the United States he became Squadron Adjutant and Operations Officer, 12th Aero Squadron, at Kelly Field, and El Paso, Texas, to April 1920; Squadron Adjutant, 12th Army Aviation Squadron at Maginnis, Arizona to July 1920; Adjutant and Operations Officer, 8th Aero Squadron, at Pope Field, Camp Bragg, North Carolina, to March 1921.

In March 1921 he was assigned to the Air Service Pilot School, Carlstrom Field, Arcadia, and following his graduation in August 1921, became a student Pilot, 2nd Group (Bombardment) at Kelly Field, Texas, to January 1922; instructor, 27th Division, Air Service Unit, New York National Guard, Headquarters, 2nd Corps Area, Governors Island, New York, until March 1927, and Commanding Officer, 66th Service Squadron, Air Corps, at Camp Nichols, Rizal, Philippine Islands, until April 1929.

Upon his return to the United States, he served as Post Adjutant and Commanding Officer, 2nd Bombardment Wing and 1st Bombardment Brigade, Headquarters at Langley Field, Virginia, to March 1935; Assistant and Chief, Personnel Division and Airplane Pilot and Observer, Office of the Chief of the Air Corps, Washington, D.C., to June 1939.

From June 1939 he served as Commanding Officer, Moffett Field, Command Pilot, Combat Observer, 9th Air Base Group, and later Commandant, Air Corps Basic Flying School with the West Coast Training Center at Moffett Field, California; Commanding Officer, Wright Field and Executive Officer, Army Air Forces Material Center at Wright Field, Ohio. In September 1942 he went overseas to the South Pacific where he served as Commander of the Army Air Forces units in the Fiji Islands and New Caledonia. In March 1944, he was named Deputy Commander of the Thirteenth Air Force in the Solomon Islands.

In November 1944 he returned to the United States and was assigned as Deputy Commanding General of the Army Air Forces Personnel Redistribution Center at Camp Davis, North Carolina. In August 1945 he was appointed Deputy Commanding General of Personnel for the Air Technical Service Command, Wright Field, Ohio.

In December 1946 he assumed duties as Inspector General of the Fourth Air Force at Hamilton Field (later, AFB), California. In October 1947 he took command of the 78th Fighter Wing and Hamilton AFB, California, which positions he held until his retirement from the Air Force on March 31, 1950, in the grade of Brigadier General.

He was rated a Command Pilot, Combat Observer, and Aircraft Observer.


Private, Battery D, 2nd Field Artillery, New York National Guard, June 20, 1916, to January 21, 1917; Second Lieutenant, Field Artillery Officers’ Reserve Corps, August 15, 1917; First Lieutenant, National Guard, November 14, 1917; First Lieutenant, Aviation Section Signal Officers’ Reserve Corps, November 14, 1917; First Lieutenant, Air Service, July 1, 1920; Captain, July 1, 1920; Major, August 1, 1935; Lieutenant Colonel, (temporary), November 20, 1938; Lieutenant Colonel, August 18, 1940; Colonel (temporary), March 15, 1941; Colonel, A.U.S., December 24, 1941; Brigadier General, A.U.S., February 3, 1943; terminated Brigadier General, A.U.S., November 30, 1945, reverting to the grade of Colonel, A.U.S.; Colonel, April 2, 1948; retired in the grade of Brigadier General, March 31, 1950.


Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal, Mexican Border Service Medal, World War I Victory Medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal.