Courtesy of the United States Air Force
MAJOR GENERAL WILLIAM A. TEMPLE
Retired September 1, 1977
Major General William A. Temple was Vice Commander, Eighth Air Force, with headquarters at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. Eighth Air Force is responsible for all Strategic Air Command operations and bases in the eastern half of the United States. It controls B-52, FB-111 and KC-135 aircraft, as well as Titan and Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles. These weapons provide a key element supporting SAC's mission as America's strategic deterrent force.
General Temple was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1924. He attended Indiana University for one year prior to entering the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., in 1943, from which he graduated with a bachelor of science degree and commission as second lieutenant in 1946. He has a bachelor of laws degree, 1951, and a master's degree in international relations, 1964, from The George Washington University, and graduated from the Air War College, 1964.
While a cadet at the academy, he attended flying training and received his pilot wings in 1946. He then went to multiengine transition flying school and in November 1946 was assigned as a design and development officer with the Air Proving Ground Command at Eglin Army Air Field, Fla. From August 1948 to July 1951, he attended the University of Minnesota for two years and then The George Washington University for one year where he received his law degree.
General Temple then was named assistant judge advocate for the Alaskan Air Command with headquarters at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. In August 1953 he was transferred to Headquarters Military Air Transport Service at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., where he was assistant chief pilot. From February 1955 to July 1958, he served as a legislative liaison action officer in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force.
He next attended B-47 Stratojet combat crew training and was transferred to Homestead Air Force Base, Florida, where he served as B-47 aircraft commander and operations officer in the 527th and 524th Bombardment Squadrons. In July 1960 he was assigned to Headquarters Strategic Air Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, in the Directorate of Personnel where as chief of boards he was responsible for the separation and board branch and flying status branch. He entered the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, in August 1963.
After completion of B-52 Stratofortress combat crew training at Castle Air Force Base, California, in November 1964, he was assigned to the 6th Strategic Aerospace Wing at Walker Air Force Base, New Mexico, as chief of the Programs and Scheduling Branch and later was chief of the Training Division.
General Temple returned to the Pentagon in March 1966 and was assigned to the Office of the Secretary of Defense as an assistant for manpower and reserve affairs. In November 1968 he was transferred to Griffiss Air Force Base, New York, as Vice Commander of the 416th Bombardment Wing and later was commander. His next assignment was in May 1970 at McCoy Air Forge Base, Florida, as Commander of the 306th Bombardment Wing.
General Temple joined the Air Force Office of Special Investigations in August 1971, attended the Special Investigators Course, and served as deputy director of special investigations. He became director of special investigations and commander, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, in April 1972.
In July 1975 General Temple was assigned as vice commander of Headquarters Eighth Air Force at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana.
His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster; Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster; from the Republic of Vietnam the Chuong My Medal, First Class; and from the Republic of Khmer, the National Defense Medal, Order of the Army. General Temple was the first recipient of the U.S. Air Force Citation for Exceptional Achievement in support of the Air Force Domestic Action Program in October 1972. He is a command pilot.
He was promoted to the grade of Major General effective August 1, 1974, with date of rank March 1, 1972.
General Temple is to be laid to rest with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on 5 May 2008.
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
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