Lawrence Augustus Lawson was born on August 8, 1896, at Menominee, Michigan. He enlisted as a flying cadet on October 24, 1917, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Aviation Section, of the Signal Reserve Corps on February 14, 1918.
His first assignment was at Fort Omaha, Nebraska, where he attended the Army Balloon School until April 1918, and was then sent to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, for an Observation Course. He went to West Point, Kentucky, in July 1918, and in January 1919 to Ross Field, California. In December 1920 he was sent to Hawaii, for duty with the 3rd Balloon Company at Fort Kamehameha. In July 1923 he became Aerial Observer with the 6th Pursuit Squadron at Luke Field, Hawaii.
Returning to the United States in January 1924, he was sent to Scott Field, Illinois, for service with the 9th Airship Company. He entered the Balloon and Airship School, in September 1924, and was graduated in 1925. He was then assigned to the 12th Airship Company at Scott Field. He entered the Air Corps Primary Flying School at Brooks Field, Texas, in March 1926. In September 1926 he proceeded to the Air Corps Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, Texas. When he completed his training in February 1927, he became Adjutant at McCook Field, Ohio.
In August 1927 he became Adjutant at Wright Field, Ohio, and remained there until May 1930 when he was sent to March Field, California, for instruction at the Air Corps Primary Flying School. In July 1931 he became Personnel Adjutant at Langley Field, Virginia, and in May 1933 he assumed command of the 19th Airship Company there.
From July 1933 to December 1933 he served with the Civilian Conservation Corps at Weikert, Pennsylvania. He then returned to the 19th Airship Squadron at Langley Field, Virginia. He moved with that Squadron to Moffett Field, California, in 1936, and in August 1936 assumed command of the 19th Airship Squadron and 3rd Balloon Squadron. He was assigned to the Air Corps Primary Flying School at Randolph Field, Texas, in June 1937 and in February 1938 went to Kelly Field, Texas, for a Special Observation Course in the Air Corps Advanced Flying School.
In July 1938 he was assigned to Lowry Field, Colorado. He entered the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Alabama, in January 1940 and was graduated in April 1940. He then returned to Lowry Field, Colorado, for duty as Director of the Clerical Department of the Air Corps Technical School. He became Executive Officer of that school in November 1940, and Assistant Commandant in July 1941. In June 1942 he was assigned to command the Army Air Forces Training School at Buckley Field, Colorado, and served in this capacity until February 1944 when he assumed command of the Army Air Forces Training Center No. 1, Miami Beach, Florida. In August 1944 he took command of the Army Air Forces Eastern Technical Training Command at St. Louis, Missouri.
In 1945 he went overseas to the Pacific Theater of Operations and served with the Tenth Army at Okinawa. In October 1945 he became Commanding General of the Okinawa Base Command (OBASCOM) and Military Governor of the Ryukyo Islands.
He was rated a Command Pilot, Balloon Pilot, Combat Observer, Balloon Observer, and Aircraft Observer.
Private First Class, Aviation Section, Signal Enlisted Reserve Corps, October 24, 1917, to February 14, 1918; Second Lieutenant, Aviation Section, Signal Officers’ Reserve Corps, February 14, 1918; First Lieutenant, Air Service, U.S.A., November 2, 1918, to September 22, 1920; First Lieutenant, Air Service, July 1, 1920; Captain, February 22, 1931; Major (temporary), June 16, 1936; Major, June 12, 1939; Lieutenant Colonel (temporary), December 30, 1940; Lieutenant Colonel, A.U.S., April 18, 1941; Lieutenant Colonel, October 15, 1941; Colonel (temporary), January 5, 1942, to May 30, 1946; Colonel, A.U.S., June 3, 1942; Brigadier General, A.U.S., November 1, 1942; terminated Brigadier General, A.U.S., May 30, 1946; retired with rank of Colonel, May 31, 1946; Brigadier General, retired, 1948.
Distinguished Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, World War I Victory Medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal (Japan).