Military Bios

Brigadier General Brian S. Gunderson:

Military Branch:United States Airforce
Retired May 4, 1974.   Died Sep. 29, 2004.
Brig. Gen. Brian S. Gunderson is chief of the Office of Air Force History, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.
General Gunderson was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, in 1923. He attended public schools in Canada and England. He graduated from Modern Preparatory School, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, in 1937, and Creighton Preparatory High School, Omaha, Neb., in 1938. He attended the University of Omaha, Neb., 1938-1941, received his bachelor of science degree from the University of Maryland in 1959 and a master s degree in international affairs from The George Washington University in 1965. He graduated from the Air War College in 1960.
During World War II, General Gunderson transferred to the U.S. Army Air Forces on Dec. 1, 1943, in London, England, after two years with the Royal Canadian Air Force in Canada and England. He served with the Eighth Air Force in the European Theater of Operations, 1943-1945, as combat crew and group staff navigator in B-17 and B-24 aircraft. He logged 51 combat missions, 50 of them on night operations.
From September 1945 to June 1946, he was a squadron commanding officer and the air inspector at Sioux Falls, S.D. In December 1946 he was assigned as a personnel research analyst in the Office of Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Personnel, at Headquarters U.S. Army Air Forces.
In December 1947 General Gunderson was assigned to the 28th Strategic Bombardment Wing, Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., where he served on a Strategic Air Command lead crew, on the standardization board, and as the wing staff navigator, flying in B-29, B-36 and RB-36 aircraft. In May 1953 he was assigned to the 42d Strategic Bombardment Wing, Loring Air Force Base, Maine, where he was the wing war plans officer.
From October 1953 to July 1954, he attended the first Senior Technical Observer Training Course at Mather Air Force Base, Calif., and was the honor graduate in his class.
In October 1954 General Gunderson was assigned to Headquarters Fifth Air Force in Japan and Korea as chief of the War Plans Branch and later as assistant chief, Plans and Policy Division.
In May 1956 he returned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force and was assigned to the Directorate of Plans, Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Programs, as a War Plans staff officer. From July 1959 to July 1960, General Gunderson attended the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. After graduation he was assigned to NATO in the office of the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT) at Norfolk, Va., where he was chief of nuclear plans. In July 1963 he was assigned to the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force as deputy executive assistant and in July 1967 became executive assistant. General Gunderson assumed duties as chief of staff, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, with headquarters at Lindsey Air Station, Germany, in July 1969.
General Gunderson became chief, Office of Air Force History, Headquarters U.S. Air Force in June 1972.
His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation Emblem, and Canadian service medals. He is a master navigator.
General Gunderson's hometown is Omaha, Neb.
He was promoted to the grade of brigadier general effective Aug. 1, 1969, with date of rank July 29, 1969.


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