David M. Goodrich – Major General, United States Air Force

Courtesy of the United States Air Force

Retired July 1, 1991

Major General David M. Goodrich was commandant of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.

General Goodrich was born in 1936, in San Antonio, Texas, where he graduated from St. Gerard's High School in 1955. He received a bachelor of science degree in engineering science from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1959. The General did graduate-level study in the history and international relations of Southeast Asia at the University of the Philippines in 1962 and received a master of arts degree in international relations with a Soviet affairs major from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1967. He completed Squadron Officer School in 1967, Air Command and Staff College in 1970, and National War College in 1971.

Upon graduation from the academy he was commissioned in the Air Force and received a navigator rating in June 1959. In June 1960, after completing primary flying training at Moore Air Base, Texas, and basic flying training at Webb Air Force Base, Texas, the general received his pilot wings. He completed combat crew training in July 1961. He then was assigned as a flight leader and assistant squadron operations officer, flying F-100s from Clark Air Base, Philippines, and Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. From June to December 1962 General Goodrich flew as a forward air controller in O-1A's in the Republic of Vietnam. He then served as aide to the chief, U.S. Air Force Section, Military Assistance and Advisory Group, Republic of Vietnam. During this period he was also a fighter pilot and adviser with the Vietnamese air force's 716th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Bien Hoa and Tan Son Nhut air bases.

The General was a member of the cadre that activated the 555th “Triple Nickel” Tactical Fighter Squadron, the first Air Force combat-ready operational F-4 squadron. He flew F-4Cs with the squadron at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., and Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, as a flight leader, and wing tactics and plans officer, from March 1964 to June 1966. General Goodrich participated in the initial rotational deployments of F-4's to Southeast Asia and was the advance echelon commander for the permanent deployment of the squadron to Udorn for missions over North Vietnam.

From September 1967 to August 1970 he served successively as assistant professor of political science, Cadet Group executive officer and squadron air officer commanding at the Air Force Academy. During this assignment he was also a member of the staff group that established the academy's primary pilot training program, flying as an instructor pilot in T-41C's and T-33's. After graduation from National War College in June 1971, the general became an operations research action officer, Office of the Deputy Director for Force Development, Directorate of Plans, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. In this assignment he dealt with force structure planning issues for the Air Force.

In August 1972 the general was assigned to the Regional Negotiations Branch, Office of the Deputy Director for International Negotiations, J-5, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C., as a political-military affairs action officer. General Goodrich also served in Vienna, Austria, as a Joint Chiefs of Staff member of the U.S. team negotiating with Warsaw Pact representatives on mutual balanced force reductions. He was a member of the Department of Defense Mutual Balanced Force Reductions Task Force and Joint Chiefs of Staff representative to the National Security Council for arms control matters until July 1974.

General Goodrich then transferred to the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., as chief of maintenance and deputy commander for logistics. In February 1975 he was assigned as assistant deputy commander and later served as deputy commander for operations of the wing, flying A-7D's. During this period, the wing became the first A-10-equipped unit in the Air Force. In April 1976 the general was assigned as special assistant for tactical air matters to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe and chief of staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Casteau, Belgium. He became vice commander of the 86th Tactical Fighter Wing, Ramstein Air Base, West Germany, in July 1978 and wing commander in 1980, flying F-4E's.

He assumed command of the 50th Tactical Fighter Wing, Hahn Air Base, West Germany, in June 1980 and was commander during its transition from F-4E's to F-16s. The 50th Tactical Fighter Wing was the first U.S. Air Force wing in Europe equipped with F-16s. In January 1982 General Goodrich returned to Washington, D.C., as chief, Director's Staff Group, Defense Intelligence Agency. He subsequently was assigned as the Air Force assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and member of the Chairman's Staff Group in June 1982.

In July 1983 General Goodrich became deputy director for operations, J-3, National Military Command Center, Washington, D.C. From September 1984 to September 1985 he was deputy director, Defense Mapping Agency, Washington, D.C. In September 1985 the general assumed command of the 24th Air Division, Tactical Air Command, Griffiss Air Force Base, New York. There he directed several ground radar sites, including the first long-range Over-the-Horizon Backscatter Radar System, fighter interceptor squadrons and sector operations control centers providing air defense for the eastern half of the United States.

General Goodrich was assigned as assistant deputy chief of staff, programs and resources, Air Force headquarters, in July 1988. In this position he participated in the prioritized allocation of the annual Air Force budget to weapon systems, manpower and foreign military sales, and in development of the Air Force six-year fiscal program. He assumed his present position in July 1989.

The general is a command pilot with more than 3,000 flying hours, including more than 200 combat missions. He has flown more than 25 different operational military aircraft, including F-4s, F-15s, F-16s, F-100s, F-106s, F-111s, A-7D's, O-1A's, AT-28s and T-41C's. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with “V” device and three oak leaf clusters, Combat Readiness Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with three service stars, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. The general also wears the Parachutist and Aircraft/Munitions Maintenance badges.

He was promoted to major general April 1, 1987, with same date of rank.

Major General (retired) David M. Goodrich, Class of 1959, died on March 2, 2003.

General Goodrich will be buried at 0900 at Arlington National Cemetery on March 14, 2003. In lieu of flowers the family has asked that donations be made to the Falcon Foundation: 3116 Academy Dr. USAF Academy, CO 80840. Falcon Foundation phone number is (719) 333-4096. (4Mar03) Condolences may be sent to his wife:

Mrs Kitty Goodrich
22 Wyndham Hill Rd
Middletown,  Rhode Island 02842

VETERAN SERVICE DATES: 06/03/1959 – 08/01/1991
DATE OF BIRTH: 11/16/1936
DATE OF DEATH: 03/02/2003

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