Retired Aug. 1, 1967. Died Dec. 10, 1996.
Allman Tenney Culbertson was born near Dahsville, N.Y., in 1911. He graduated from Dansville Central High School in 1928 as valedictorian of his class and the following year took post-graduate work at the same school.
During 1930 and 1931 he attended Parks Air College at East St. Louis, Ill., and graduated as a master airplane and engine mechanic, which enabled him to qualify for a Department of Commerce mechanics license.
He was immediately employed by the Air City Flying School at Racine, Wis. During his employment there, from 1931 to 1933, he qualified for both private and commercial pilot licenses, which allowed him to do his own test flying.
After helping to build a new airport in his hometown of Dansville he enlisted in the Army Air Corps in August l935. He served briefly in the Panama Canal Zone while studying for a flying cadet appointment, and in June 1937 he graduated from the Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, specializing in attack aviation.
As an attack pilot and squadron engineering officer he served at Barksdale Field, La., and Hunter Field, Ga., before departing for England in 1942 to help establish the Eighth Bomber Command. His World War II service overseas was divided about equally between three major assignments, first in Eighth Bomber Command operations, then as air officer to the European Theater commander, f1nally as deputy commander of the 44th Bomb Group and 95th Bomb Wing. During World War II he participated in 11 heavy bomber attacks over Europe, including the initial attack on Berlin, and flew a night raid with the Royal Air Force.
Returning from overseas in July 1944, Colonel Culbertson was assigned as director of operations and training with the 61st Troop Carrier Wing at Sedalia Army Air Field, Mo.
During the summer of 1946 he was assigned to Wright Field as chief of the Cargo Branch, Engineering Division, Air Materiel Command. In the ensuing five years his responsibilities expanded to encompass supervision of all piloted aircraft development. In filling this role he flew all classes of military and commercial aircraft, with the exception of rocket research types, as an evaluation test pilot.
In August 1951 his assignment took him to the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, A1a., where he graduated in June 1952. He spent the next two years in England again, this time as a research and development exchange officer, serving as deputy director for Royal Air Force aircraft development in the British Ministry of Supply.
From 1954 to 1958, Colonel Culbertson served as chief of the Supporting Systems Group, Directorate of Research and Development, Headquarters, U.S. Air Force. In June 1958, he arrived at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., to assume the duties of deputy commander of the Air Force Missile Development Center.
In August 1960, General Culbertson was assigned to the Wright Air Development Division, Air Research and Development Command, as director of systems management.
In February 1962, General Culbertson was named vice commander of the Aeronautical Systems Division, a newly-formed organization composed of the former Wright Air Development Division and the Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
On Aug. 1, 1962, General Culbertson was named vice commander of the Air Proving Ground Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
General Culbertson is rated as a command pilot and technical observer and has logged more than 6,000 hours of accident-free flying in a great variety of aircraft ranging from light planes and gliders to heavy bombers and century-series jets.
Among General Culbertson's many decorations are the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with oak leaf cluster.
The general is an active member also of the Daedalians (flight captain of Flight 9), the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences, the Masons, and the Boy Scouts of America.