Retired May 17, 1957.
Alfred Rockwood Maxwell was born in Seattle, Wash., in 1906. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy June 9, 1928, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Coast Artillery Corps.
Entering Primary Flying School at Brooks Field, Texas, General Maxwell graduated from Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, Texas, in September 1929. Assigned to the 95th Pursuit Squadron at Rockwell Field, Calif., the following month, on Nov. 21, 1929, he was transferred to the Air Corps. Entering the Air Corps Technical School at Chanute Field, Ill., in October 1930, he graduated the following August and returned to the 95th, moving with it to March Fie1d, Calif., in October 1931.
The following January General Maxwell was transferred to the 64th Service Squadron at March Field. He was assigned to the Air Corps Mail Operations at Cheyenne, Wyo., in February 1934, and that May returned for duty with the 34th Pursuit Squadron. Going to Nichols Field Philippine Islands, in January 1935, the general served with the Second Observation Squadron of the Fourth Composite Group, assuming command of the Second in October 1937.
Assigned as a test pilot at Wright Field, Ohio, in February 1938, General Maxwell entered the Air Corps Engineering School there in July 1938, and graduated a year later. Receiving his master of science degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in June 1940, he returned to Wright Field as assistant commandant of the Engineering School. Ordered to Air Corps Headquarters in January 1942, General Maxwell was assistant chief of statistical control, and that July was Named chief of the Materiel and Equipment Section of the Directorate of Bombardment. In the spring of 1943 he was appointed chief of the Bombardment Branch, Requirements Division.
Moving to Europe in February 1944, General Maxwell was designated director of operations of the U.S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe. In July 1945 he returned to Air Corps Headquarters as chief of the Requirements Division, Office of the Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Operations. Entering the National War College in July 1947, he graduated a year later and assumed command of the Marianas Air Materiel Area. Appointed commander of the 19th Bomb Wing at Kadena Air Force Base, Okinawa, in June 1949, the general moved with it to Guam a month later, and that November was named chief of staff of the 20th Air Force on Okinawa.
Transferred to the Air Research and Development Command in July 1950, General Maxwell was appointed deputy commanding general. Assuming command of Detachment A of that command in December 1950, the following May he moved in that capacity to Baltimore, Md. In July 1951, the general became vice commander, Air Research and Development Command, and that September assumed additional duty as assistant for operational systems. The following January he was appointed special assistant to the commanding general, Air Research and Development Command. Named Air Force secretary to the Department of Defense Research and Development Board in April 1952, in July 1953 General Maxwell was redesignated Air Force secretary to the assistant secretary of defense for research and development.
Joining the Air Materiel Command, on Feb. 1, 1955 General Maxwell assumed command of the Rome Air Force Depot at Rome, N.Y.
The General retired from active duty on May 17, 1957.
His decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star; French Legion of Honor (Chevalier) and Croix de Guerre; and the Order of the British Empire (Honorary Commander). He is rated a command pilot, combat observer and aircraft observer.