Brigadier General Alex W. Talmant is commander of the 47th Air Division with headquarters at Castle Air Force Base, Calif.
General Talmant was born of immigrant parents in 1919, in Springfield, Ill. He attended high school in Springfield and graduated in 1937. He then entered Springfield Junior College and graduated with an associate in arts degree in 1939. He devoted his summer vacations from school working in the Illinois coal fields to supplement his family's income. He attended St. Louis University, Mo., as a medical student during the period 1940-1941. In July 1941 he entered the Army Air Corps and attended flying schools, graduating at Lubbock Field, Texas, in July 1942 with his pilot wings and a commission as a second lieutenant.
General Talmant then joined the 97th Bombardment Group serving in England and North Africa. As a B-17 aircraft commander, he flew 56 combat missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal with 10 oak leaf clusters.
During the period 1945-1947, he served as chief of the Control Unit at Headquarters Second Air Force, in Colorado Springs, Colo., where he directed the training programs affecting some 40,000 aircraft maintenance technicians.
In 1948 he was assigned to Headquarters Third Air Division in England as director of maintenance and director of logistical planning. He returned to the United States in 1951, and was assigned as chief of the Operations and Training Division in the Office of the Inspector General at Headquarters U.S. Air Force in Washington, D.C.
In 1955 he was named chief of the Weapons Maintenance Division at Headquarters Fifteenth Air Force, March Air Force Base, Calif. From 1956 through 1960 he served as director of materiel, 95th Bombardment Wing at Biggs Air Force Base, Texas; senior Strategic Air Command representative, Alaskan Command; and deputy commander for maintenance, 92nd Strategic Aerospace Wing, Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash.
General Talmant was assigned deputy director of materiel at Headquarters Fifteenth Air Force in July 1960 and during that assignment was instrumental in the development of the Atlas, Titan and Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile weapon systems within the Strategic Air Command. In June 1963 he assumed duties as inspector general for the Fifteenth Air Force.
He became commander of the 462nd Strategic Aerospace Wing at Larson Air Force Base, Wash., in July 1965, and commander of the 92nd Strategic Aerospace Wing at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., in March 1966. In June 1967 he assumed command of the 4258th Strategic Wing at U Tapao Air Field, Thailand, and while assigned to the wing, he flew 100 combat missions over Vietnam.
In August 1968 General Talmant assumed command of the Strategic Air Command's 47th Air Division, with headquarters at Castle Air Force Base, Calif., and is responsible for the operational effectiveness of the 93rd Bombardment Wing, the 22nd Bombardment Wing, and the 320th Bombardment Wing, at Castle, March, and Mather Air Force bases, respectively.
His military decorations include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 14 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal and Purple Heart. He is a command pilot with approximately 6,000 flying hours.