Robert H. Curtin – Major General, United States Air Force

Courtesy of the United States Air Force:

Retired May 1, 1968


Major General Robert H. Curtin was the director of civil engineering, Deputy Chief of Staff, Programs and Resources, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. He was responsible for the management and direction of Air Force programs involving design, construction, maintenance and operation of real property facilities. This includes the acquisition and disposal of real estate, provision of fire protection, base master planning, and the development of engineering standards and criteria.

General Curtin was born in Winchendon, Massachusetts, in 1916, and attended grade and high schools there. Graduating from Murdock High School in 1934 he attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York, for one year and then received an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.

In 1939 he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and assigned to the 1lth Engineering Regiment, Canal Zone. He returned to the United States in July 1943 for a brief assignment as Plans and Policy Officer and later executive officer, Headquarters 30th Engineer Aviation Unit Training Center, MacDill Field, Fla. In June of the following year General Curtin was assigned to the Engineering Division, Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces, and later in the European Theater of Operations, he performed duties related to tactical and other airfield construction in Europe. This was followed in 1946-1947 by assignments with the European Aviation Engineering Command and as Air Engineer, U.S. Air Forces in Europe.

Returning from Europe in May 1947, the general attended Harvard University where he obtained a master's degree in civil engineering. His next transfer was to Washington, D.C., with assignment in the Directorate of Installations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. In 1952 he was made deputy director of installations for engineering and construction, and for his service during this period was awarded the Legion of Merit.

Following his Pentagon tour, General Curtin attended the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, and in August 1954 returned to England as assistant chief of staff, installations, Third Air Force. Returning to the United States in 1957, he attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.

His next assignment, in June 1958, returned him to Air Force Headquarters as deputy director for facilities support, then as deputy director for real property, and following that, as deputy director for civil engineering operations. In 1961 he was named deputy director for construction and in July 1963 was appointed to his current position as director of civil engineering.

In addition to the Legion of Merit, the general's decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and foreign awards.

General Curtin was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery on 30 April 2007.

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