Retired Sep. 1, 1977.
Brigadier General Albert L. Melton is commander of the 14th Air Division at Beale Air Force Base, Calif. Under his command are reconnaissance, bombardment and refueling organizations equipped with SR-71, B-52 and KC-135 aircraft.
General Melton was born in Woodville, Ala., in 1928, and is a graduate of Jackson County High School, Scottsboro, Ala. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force under the aviation cadet program in September 1949 and received his pilot wings and commission as a second lieutenant at Vance Air Force Base, Okla., in October 1950. He is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College, 1965, and the Air War College, 1970.
After graduating from Pilot Instructor School at Craig Air Force Base, Ala., in February 1951, General Melton served as an instructor pilot with the 3555th Pilot Training Wing, Perrin Air Force Base, Texas. In January 1952 he was assigned to the 3525th Pilot Training Wing, Williams Air Force Base, Ariz., where he continued to instruct students in the T-6, T-28, F-80 and the T-33.
In May 1954 General Melton was transferred to Taegu Air Base, Korea, and was a T-33, F-84G and F-86F pilot with the 311th Fighter Bomber Squadron of the 58th Fighter Bomber Wing. From December 1954 to July 1955, he participated in Project Checkout as a T-33 instructor pilot with the 6000th Operations Squadron at Yokota Air Base, Japan.
General Melton spent the next four years at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., as a T-33, F-84 and F-100 instructor pilot, flight commander, squadron operations officer, and wing operations and training officer with the 3600th Combat Crew Training Wing, later designated the 4510th Combat Crew Training Wing.
In June 1959 he began a two-year tour of duty as an operations adviser with the Military Assistance Advisory Group, Taiwan, flying F-86F and RF-100A fighters with the Nationalist Chinese Air Force at Taoyuan Air Base.
General Melton was an instructor pilot and chief of standardization and evaluation for T-33s and T-37s with the 3550th Pilot Training Wing at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., from July 1961 to August 1964. He then attended the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Va.
In January 1965 he went to Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, where he served as an operations officer and then commander of the 3645th Pilot Training Squadron until May 1968 when he became deputy commander for operations of the 3646th Pilot Training Wing, for the undergraduate pilot training program. He attended the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., from August 1969 until May 1970, then completed Sea Survival School at Homestead Air Force Base, Fla., Survival School at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., and underwent T-33 Refresher Training and F-4 training.
From March through December 1971, General Melton served as vice commander and later as commander of the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing, Phu Cat Air Base, Republic of Vietnam. During this period, he flew a total of 90 combat missions and 131 combat hours in the F-4D. On Dec. 31, 1971, General Melton inactivated the wing, closed the base, and transferred it to the Republic of Vietnam Air Force.
In February 1972 General Melton was assigned as vice commander, 58th Tactical Fighter-Training Wing, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., and became commander in August 1972.
General Melton assumed command of the 14th Air Division at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., in September 1974.
His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation Emblem, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with "V" device and three oak leaf clusters, and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm. He is a command pilot with more than 8,200 flying hours, of which 5,200 have been as an instructor pilot in fighter and trainer type aircraft.
General Melton's hometown is Scottsboro, Ala.
He was promoted to the grade of brigadier general effective Aug. 1, 1974, with date of rank July 21, 1974.