Edwin S. Chickering
Brigadier General, United States Air Force
BRIGADIER GENERAL EDWIN S. CHICKERING
General Chickering began his military career after graduating from Lehigh University in 1935. During World War II he was appointed commander of the 357th Fighter Group which he led in combat from England. In June of 1944 he went into Normandy with advance elements of the Ninth Tactical Air Force and subsequently was named commander of the 367th Fighter Group in Europe.
Following the war he became an instructor at the Air Command and Staff School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. He attended the Air War College, graduating in 1950.
During the Korean conflict, General Chickering served as deputy commander of the Air Force Fighter Weapons School at Las Vegas, Nevada, and later as commander of the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Kimpo, Korea.
On his return to the United States, he became deputy chief of staff for operations of the Ninth Air Force, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In 1954 he was assigned as commander of the 405th Fighter Bomber Wing and commander of Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. In 1957 these organizations were merged into the 836th Air Division which he commanded.
General Chickering was assigned as chief of staff for operation of the Pacific Air Forces in 1958 and in August of 1959 took command of the Pacific Air Forces Base Command, the Hawaiian Air Defense Division and Hickam Air Force Base.
On return to the mainland in 1961, he was assigned
to the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force and later to the Office
of the Secretary of Defense on a special project with the Arms Control
and Disarmament Agency. At present, General Chickering is assigned as chief
of staff to the U.S. Representative to the NATO Military Committee and
Born September 21, 1912, in Oil City, he was the third of four children of James and Helen Chickering of West Third Street. His father was with the Oil Well Supply Co.
He grew up in Oil City and attended the University School in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1935, he graduated with an engineering degree from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where he was a Chi Psi fraternity member as were his father and an older brother before him.
During his boyhood, General Chickering developed a passion for flight, leading him to build and then fly his own glider, which hung in the engineering lab at Lehigh for many years.
Following graduation, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and attended flight school, winning his wings and a commission as a second lieutenant. He was assigned as an instructor at Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas, where he met and married the former Mary Jim Lane of Little Rock, Arkansas.
When the U.S. entered World War II, he was appointed commander of the 357th Fighter Group which he led in combat from England. In June 1944, he went into Normandy on D-Day-Plus-2 with advance elements of the Ninth Tactical Air Force to establish airfields for use by the Allies. He was subsequently named commander of the 367th Fighter Group, which he led until the war ended. During the war he was promoted to Colonel.
Following World War II, he became an instructor at the Air Command and Staff School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama He attended the Air War College, graduating in 1950.
During the Korean War, General Chickering served as deputy commander of the Air Force Fighter Weapons School in Las Vegas, Nev., and later commanded the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Kimpo, Korea.
He returned to the U.S. and became deputy chief of staff for operations of the Ninth Air Force at Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina. In 1954, General Chickering was promoted to Brigadier General and was assigned as commander of the 405th Fighter Bomber Wing and the Langley Air Force Base in Virginia. Those organizations merged in 1957 and General Chickering was named commander.
During his tour at Langley, General Chickering was honored by the community of Hampton Roads for exceptional community service and was cited specifically for improving relations between Langley military personnel and the surrounding area.
In 1958, General Chickering was assigned as chief of staff for operations of the Pacific Air Forces at Hickman Air Force Base in Honolulu. He was named one year later as commander of the Pacific Air Forces Base Command, the Hawaiian Air Defense Division and Hickam Air Force Base.
General Chickering returned to the mainland in 1961 and was assigned to the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force and later to the Office of the Secretary of Defense on a special project with the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. His last military assignment followed as chief of staff to the U.S. Representative to NATO. He retired from the service in 1967.
During his career, the officer, a command pilot, was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Medal with seven Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star and the French Crois De Guerre with Palm. His fellow aviators, according to news stories, described his as "a combat ready flying general and a pilot's pilot."
Following his retirement, General Chickering worked for a Baltimore, Maryand, engineering firm.
He was a founding member of the Clan Hamilton Society and was an active Rotarian.
General Chickering was well known for his support of youth and education.
Despite leaving Oil City in 1935 for his military training in Texas, General Chickering always referred to himself as "a native of Oil City." He was a frequent visitor back to the area and belonged to the Christ Episcopal Church in Oil City and the Oil City Boat Club at Rockmere.
Surviving are his wife, Mary Chickering at home; a son and daughter-in-law, Jim and Robin Chickering of St. Louis, Missouri; his older brother, Kenton Chickering of Houston, Texas; two grandchildren, Allison Christine Chickering and Edwin Shepard Chickering II, both of St. Louis; a niece, Mrs. Carolyn Moore of Hilton Head, South Carolina; four nephews, Kenton Chickering III of Houston, Texas, Scott Chickering of The Woodlands, Texas, Benjamin Hamilton Chickering of Canton, Georgia, and Champlin F. Buck III of Alexandria, Virginia; and many cousins.
His parents and two siblings preceded him in death.
Interment will be in Arlington National Cemetery.
The family suggests memorials may be made to
a charity of one's choice.
Died on Friday, February 14, 2003 in Little Rock, Arkansas, formerly of Alexandria, Virginia; husband of Mary Jim Chickering. Also survived by one son Jim (Robin) Chickering; two grandchildren, Allison Christine Chickering and Edwin Shepard Chickering, II, all of St. Louis, Missouri.
Graveside services on Monday, March 24 at 1 p.m. at Arlington National Cemetery with full honors. Cortege will assemble at the Administration Building at 12:30 p.m. Please omit flowers.
Posted: 20 March 2003 Updated: 18 October 2003
Updated: 20 June 2004
Legion of Merit