Retired Aug. 1, 1965.
Chester Charles Cox was born in 1916 in Grand Rapids, Minn. He graduated from Roosevelt High School at Virginia, Minn. in 1934 and enrolled at the University of Minn. in 1936. He interrupted his studies there in 1939 to enlist in the Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps in early 1940.
Lieutenant Cox served as instructor pilot and squadron commander before advancing to the rank of captain in March 1942. He assumed duties as group operations officer of the 388th Bomb Group (Heavy) early in 1943 and accompanied this unit to the European Theater of Operations in July of that year. There he participated in 25 aerial missions, totaling 180 combat hours in B-17 aircraft, and progressed to the rank of lieutenant colonel by February 1944. Assuming command of the 388th Bomb Group in October 1944 Lieutenant Colonel Cox was promoted to colonel in early 1945.
Upon his return from Europe, Colonel Cox attended the University of Minnesota where in 1949 he earned his bachelor of business administration degree in industrial relations.
Colonel Cox was assigned to the Strategic Air Command as wing executive officer for the 301st Bomb Wing (Heavy) at Salina, Kan., in March 1949. Later he moved to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., in the same position. For the next two years he also served as director of operations, commander of the 301st Bomb Group, and deputy wing commander.
From October 1951 through October 1953, Colonel Cox commanded SAC's North African Air Base at Sidi Slimane, French Morocco and in late 1953 was reassigned to Sedalia Air Force Base, Mo., to assume command of the 340th Bomb Wing.
In 1954 Colonel Cox entered the Air War College. Upon graduation in 1955 he became chief, Plans and Programs Division of Personnel Plans at U.S. Air Force Headquarters and in 1956 became deputy director of the Personnel Plans Directorate. In 1958 he was assigned to Eastern Air Defense Force, at Stewart Air Force Base, N.Y., as deputy chief of staff for personnel. On May 18, 1959 Colonel Cox assumed command of the Duluth NORAD Sector and the Duluth Air Defense Sector (semi-automatic ground environment) at Duluth, Minn. From Duluth, Colonel Cox was assigned to Truax Field, Madison, Wis., Nov. 1, 1960, to assume duties as vice commander, 30th Air Division (SAGE).
Colonel Cox became deputy chief of staff for plans and operations of the Alaskan Command in June 1962. He was promoted to brigadier general in May 1964 and in July was appointed deputy director of operations, National Military Command Center, Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Rated a command pilot, General Cox holds the following decorations and medals: Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, British Distinguished Flying Cross, French Croix de Guerre, Air Force Commendation Medal, and Distinguished Unit Medal with oak leaf cluster.
General Cox's hometown is Virginia, Minn.