Military Bios

Brigadier General Arthur W. Cruikshank Jr.:

Military Branch:United States Airforce
Retired March 1, 1972.   Died May 5, 1999.
Brigadier General Arthur Waur Cruikshank Jr., is deputy chief of staff for materiel, Headquarters Military Airlift Command, at Scott Air Force Base, Ill.
General Cruikshank was born in Alexandria, La., in 1920. He graduated from Ouachita Parish High School, La., in 1938, and from Northeast Junior College of Louisiana State University, in 1940. He attended Louisiana Polytechnic Institute until he entered the Army Air Corps aviation cadet program in November 1940. He graduated from the Air Corps Flying School at Kelly Field, Texas, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army Air Corps Reserve in December 1941.
During World War II, he was assigned to the 157th Project Task Force, and in March 1942 became one of the first Army Air Corps pilots to fly a P-40 aircraft from the aircraft carrier Ranger in the North Africa Theater of Operations. He transferred to the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations, in June 1942, and assigned to the 74th Fighter Squadron of the 23d Fighter Group when it was activated from the remaining elements of the American Volunteer Group of the Chinese air force.
In September 1943 he assumed command of the 74th Fighter Squadron. He flew 143 combat missions in P-38, P-40 and P-51 aircraft and is credited with destroying eight enemy aircraft in aerial combat and another six probably destroyed. He parachuted to safety after having his aircraft shot down behind enemy lines twice in 11 days of action in July 1944. He returned to American control with the assistance of the Chinese underground.
His activities during the period 1942-1944 earned for him the Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Purple Heart with oak leaf cluster, and Chinese Air Hero Medal.
Upon his return to the United States in August 1944, General Cruikshank was assigned to the Air Proving Ground Command at Eglin Field, Fla., as a fighter test pilot. In October 1944 he entered the Air Staff Course at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. In December 1945 he was assigned as commander of the Air Base Group at Eglin Field. During this assignment, in July 1946, he was integrated into the Regular Army Air Corps.
His experience as a test pilot had stimulated his interest in the technical aspects of flight test aerodynamics, so he applied for engineering training under the civilian instruction program. He enrolled at Louisiana State University in September 1946 and received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical aeronautical engineering in July 1948.
After graduate study at the U.S. Naval Academy, he returned to the Air Proving Ground Command as chief, Test Division, and technical executive of the Climatic Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., in September 1948. He was accepted for graduate work at Princeton University in 1949 and was awarded a master of science degree in aeronautical engineering in 1950.
In July 1950 he was assigned to Ladd Air Force Base, Alaska, as commander of the 5001st Research and Development Group. He again returned to Eglin Air Force Base in August 1952, this time as chief of staff of the Air Force Armament Center. He spent the next five years as chief of staff and deputy commander for testing and was awarded the Legion of Merit for his work. In August 1957 he entered the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
From June 1958 to July 1960 General Cruikshank was assigned to the Air Technical Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, as the deputy for Aerospace Weapons Systems. During this assignment to ATIC he accompanied Vice President Nixon on his visit to the Soviet Union as a technical member of the official party.
General Cruikshank was one of 12 colonels chosen to activate missile sites. In August 1960 he was named commander of the Site Activation Task Force at Schilling Air Force Base, Kan., to construct and turn over to the Strategic Air Command the first operational Atlas F hardened silo missile squadron. For this achievement, he was awarded an oak leaf cluster to the Legion of Merit in September 1962.
That same month, he reported to Headquarters Air Force Systems Command, Andrews Air Force Base, Md., for duty as the director of manpower and organization. He held this position until August 1963 when he was named commander of the Systems Engineering Group, Research and Technology Division, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, with additional duty as deputy commander of the Research and Technology Division.
In July 1964 General Cruikshank returned to the Foreign Technology Division (formerly ATIC) of the Air Force Systems Command as the commander. He was named deputy commander for Minuteman at the Ballistic Systems Division, Norton Air Force Base, Calif., in August 1966; became vice commander, Twenty-second Air Force, Travis Air Force Base, Calif., in July 1967; and became commander of the 62d Military Airlift Wing, McChord Air Force Base, Wash., in May 1969. He was awarded the second oak leaf cluster to the Legion of Merit in May 1969 for his performance as vice commander, Twenty-second Air Force, and fourth oak leaf cluster to the Air Medal for combat support flying in Southeast Asia during this period.
General Cruikshank assumed duties as deputy chief of staff for materiel, Military Airlift Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., in September 1969.
He is a command pilot with more than 6,000 flying hours to his credit. He is checked out in MAC's latest jet transport, the C-5, and has more than 1,100 hours in the C-141 Starlifter.
His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Purple Heart with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon, and the Chinese Sino Air Hero Medal.
His hometown is Ruston, La.
He was promoted to the temporary grade of brigadier general effective Nov. 1, 1964, with date of rank Oct. 31, 1964.


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