Retired Feb. 1, 1967. Died Dec. 20, 1995.
Benjamin Anderson Strickland Jr., was born in Whitakers, N.C., in 1911. He graduated from high school at Mars Hill Junior College in 1928, attended a three-year premedical course at Wake Forest College which he completed in 1930, and received his master's degree in 1933 at Duke University School of Medicine. In 1934 and 1935 he trained as an intern and resident in Baltimore hospitals. He was licensed to practice medicine in North Carolina in 1935 and immediately thereafter was commissioned a first lieutenant in the Army Medical Corps.
Lieutenant Strickland's first assignment was as an assistant to the 3rd Corps Area Surgeon in Baltimore. He received his flight surgeon's wings in 1942 and today holds the highest aeronautical rating available to physicians -- that of chief flight surgeon.
Lieutenant Stricland's next assignment was to the Surgical Service of the station hospital, Fort George G. Meade. Following this tour, he was privileged to attend courses at the Army Medical School and the Medical Field Service School. Upon completion of these studies, Lieutenant Stricklnad was assigned to the station hospital at Edqewood Arsenal. While there, he received a pleasant, but long anticipated, surprise, his promotion to captain.
Captain Strickland's next assignment was to Walter Reed Army Hospital, the realization of the dream of every young Army doctor. During his 3 1/2 year stay in Washington, he received his promotion to major. Perhaps the grand finale to the Walter Reed tour was his selection for flight surgeon's training at the School of Aviation Medicine.
Major Strickland successfully completed his aviation medicine course, received his flight surgeon's wings, and was assigned to command station hospitals at the Army air bases at Rapid City, Moses Lake, Davis-Monthan, and lastly Peterson Field. During this time he was promoted to lieutenant colonel.
In March 1945, he departed for his first overseas assignment and served in the China-India-Burma and Pacific theaters of operations for 15 months. Colonel Strickland was rotated to the United States and, in June 1946, was assigned as chief of the Physical Medicine Consultants Division, Surgeon General's Office. His next station and duty proved to be one of the most interesting of his career for he was assigned to the U.S. Air Force School of Aviation Medicine at Randolph Field. It was during his tour at this station that the Air Force became an independent branch of the military service and Colonel Strickland elected to remain with the newly established U.S. Air Force Medical Corps. While in San Antonio, he received his promotion to colonel.
In December 1950, Colonel Strickland was transferred to the newly activated Gunter Branch of the School of Aviation Medicine. He remained in this assignment for almost three years.
Again, he was selected for an overseas assignment but was fortunate in receiving orders to Europe which permitted his family to accompany him. He returned to the states after a three year tour and was ordered to Gulfport for duty with the Technical Training Air Force.
In July 1958, he received orders transferring him to the Air Defense Command in Colorado Springs. It was in March 1960 that he received his promotion to brigadier general and six months later was reassigned to Headquarters Air Research and Development Command as deputy to the assistant for bioastronautics. Upon the retirement of the incumbent on Sept. 1, 1961, General Strickland naturally became the assistant for bioastronautics.
General Strickland is a member of the American College of Physicians, American Congress of Physical Medicine, American Medical Association, American Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Aerospace Medical Association. He holds specialty certification in both physical medicine and aviation medicine. He is vitally interested in and has served as a member of several national committees and groups on rehabilitation and physical medicine as well as aviation and aerospace medicine.