Idwal H. Edwards – Lieutenant General, United States Air Force

Courtesy of the United States Air Force


Retired March 9, 1954, Died Nov. 25, 1981

Idwal H. Edwards was born in Freedom, New York, in 1895. He entered the Army in 1917, and in February 1918 was transferred to the Air Corps.

During the period between the two World Wars, he served in the Philippines, in Hawaii, and at many stations in the continental United States. He attended the various service schools, including the Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the Army War College, Washington, D.C. graduating from the latter in1938.

At the outbreak of World War II, General Edwards was in command of Randolph Field, Texas. During the war he served, on two occasions, as assistant chief of staff for training on the War Department General Staff. He also served as chief of staff of the European theater of operation in 1943, and as a deputy commander of the U.S. Air Force in the Mediterranean theater during 1944 and 1945.

General Edwards was commanding general of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe from March 1946 to August 1947. He was then designated deputy chief of staff, personnel, at Air Force headquarters in Washington, D.C., until March 1950, when he was named deputy chief of staff, operations, there.

On July 23, 1951, General Edwards was appointed commandant of the Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, where he remained until he retired from active duty Feb. 23, 1953.

Called back to active duty as a major general Feb. 3, 1954 General Edwards returned to Air Force headquarters for duty with the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel, as president of a special board of officers. He reverted to retired status March 9, 1954.

His decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster; Legion of Merit; Commander of the Order of the British Empire; and Commander of the French Legion of Honor. He was rated a command pilot, combat observer and aircraft observer.

He was commissioned a second lieutenant in Infantry Reserve August 15, 1917 and received his regular commission as a second lieutenant of Infantry October 26, 1917; was promoted to first lieutenant (temporary) June 20, 1918; to first lieutenant  (permanent) Sept. 8, 1919; to captain (permanent) July 1, 1920; to major (permanent) Aug. 1, 1935; to lieutenant colonel (temporary) June 17, 1938; to lieutenant colonel (permanent) Aug. 18, 1940; to colonel (temporary) Jan. 21, 1941; to brigadier general (temporary) May 24, 1942; to major general (temporary) Feb. 5, 1943; to brigadier general (permanent) Feb. 21, 1947; to lieutenant general (temporary) Oct. 1, 1947; to major general (permanent) Feb. 19, 1948. He was advanced to lieutenant general on the Regular Air Force retired list.

He was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.


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