Richard B. Collins – Major General, United States Air Force

Courtesy of the United States Air Force:

Retired August 1, 1978.   Died June 8, 1999


Major General Richard B. Collins was Director of Plans and Policy (J-5) for Headquarters U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany.

General Collins was born in 1929 in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the Drew School, San Francisco, California, and received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. He had previously been a member of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve for 21 months. General Collins graduated from the academy and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force in June 1953.

General Collins next was a student officer in basic and advanced pilot training at Goodfellow and Webb Air Force bases, Texas. He graduated from flying school in August 1954 and attended instrument instructor training (jet) at Perrin Air Force Base, Texas, and advanced pilot training (interceptor) at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. In April 1955 he reported to Hamilton Air Force Base, California, where he erved as pilot, adjutant and personnel officer for the 83d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron.

In August 1956 General Collins was assigned for exchange duty with the U.S. Navy at Oceana Naval Air Station, Virginia, and served with Fighter Squadron 33 as a fighter pilot and flying safety officer. Later, he became the maintenance officer of the first F-11F squadron in the Navy. General Collins made two deployments aboard the attack carrier Intrepid (CVA-11) and was a day and night carrier-qualified pilot during these deployments.

In May 1958 General Collins returned to Hamilton Air Force Base and became an original member of the first F-104 squadron in the Air Force. The squadron was deployed to Formosa, from September to December 1958, during the Taiwan Straits crisis. Upon return to Hamilton Air Force Base, he served as a training flight commander and assistant squadron operations officer; aide and pilot to the commander, 28th Air Division; and chief, Fighter Evaluation Branch, 28th Air Division Tactical Evaluation Team.

General Collins was transferred to Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe at Lindsey Air Station, Germany, in August 1962 as an air operations officer in the Directorate of Operations and Training, and later became an operations staff officer in the War Plans Division, Directorate of Plans.

In August 1965 he was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., in the Directorate of Plans as a staff planning officer in the Regional Plans Branch, and later served as plans and programs officer in the Strategic Plans Branch, War Planning Division.

From November 1967 through June 1968, General Collins was a student at the U.S. Air Force Operations Training Course (F-4C) at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. He next entered the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C., graduating in July 1969.

General Collins then became the deputy commander for operations of the 432d Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base in Thailand. He was combat-ready in both the F-4D and the RF-4C aircraft and flew a total of 104 combat missions over North and South Vietnam and Laos.

In May 1970 General Collins became the commander of the 363d Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. In June 1971 he returned to the office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, where he served successively as the deputy assistant for joint matters; deputy assistant for National Security council matters; deputy assistant for joint and National Security Council Matters; assistant director of plans for joint and National Security Council Matters; and from July 1974 through May 1976 he was deputy director for plans and policy in the Directorate of Plans.

General Collins assumed his last duties in June 1976.

His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Presidential Unit Citation Emblem, and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon with “V” device.

He was promoted to the grade of Major General on August 1, 1976, with date of rank July 1, 1973.


  • VETERAN SERVICE DATES: 06/02/1953 – 08/01/1976
  • DATE OF BIRTH: 11/14/1929
  • DATE OF DEATH: 06/08/1999
  • DATE OF INTERMENT: 07/07/1999


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