Died March 6, 1988.
Clyde Kenneth Rich was born in East Hampton, Conn., in 1901. He attended Connecticut State University for a year, then entered the U.S. Military Academy, from which he graduated June 12, 1923 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Air Service.
In September 1923 General Rich began flying training and after graduating from primary and advanced flying schools was rated a pilot Sept. 25, 1924. His first assignment was as a flying instructor at the primary flying school at Brooks Field, Texas. In January 1925 he was transferred to the 27th Pursuit Squadron at Selfridge Field, Mich. In February 1926 he went to Hawaii, where he served successively as police prisoner officer of the Hawaiian Department, with the 19th Pursuit Squadron at Luke Field, and with the 18th Pursuit Group at Wheeler Field.
General Rich returned to Brooks Field in February 1929 as a flying instructor and in October 1931 became a flying instructor at the primary flying school at Randolph Field, Texas. In July 1934 he was assigned to the Air Corps Training Center at Kelly Field, Texas, where he served successively as a flying instructor and chief of the pursuit section. He entered the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Ala., in August 1937 and upon graduation the following June was assigned to the 36th Pursuit Squadron at Langley Field, Va.
In March 1940 General Rich was reassigned to Hawaii as commander of the 42nd Bomb Squadron at Hickam Field. In December 1940 he assumed command of the 18th Pursuit Group at Wheeler Field, and in January 1943 was appointed commanding officer of the First Island Air Command in New Caledonia.
General Rich, in February 1943, was assigned as assistant chief of staff for operations of the Third Bomber Command at MacDill Field, Fla. The following April he assumed command of the 48th Operational Training Wing at Barksdale Field, La.; in June was named commander of Peterson Field, Colo., and in November 1943 became commander of Davis-Monthan Field, Ariz.
From October 1944 to January 1945 General Rich served as a member of the Planning Division of the General Headquarters, U.S. Army, in the Southwest Pacific Area. He then became assistant inspector of the Second Air Force at Colorado Springs, Colo., and in October 1945 was named inspector general.
General Rich was assigned to the Operations and Training Division of the War Department General Staff in June 1946, and in January 1948 was named chief of the Psychological Warfare Group in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations at Air Force headquarters. In February 1949 he became executive in the Directorate of Plans and Operations of that office.
In February 1950 General Rich was appointed chief of the Air Section of the Military Assistance Advisory Group in France. He became director of plans for the U.S. Air Forces in Europe, with headquarters at Wiesbaden, Germany, in October 1950; and in January 1951 was named chief of staff of the 12th Air Force, also at Wiesbaden. He was designated deputy commander of the 12th Air Force in September 1951.
General Rich has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Army Commendation Ribbon. He is rated a command pilot, combat observer and aircraft observer.