Retired June 1, 1984.
Brigadier General David L. Patton is commander of Civil Air Patrol - U.S. Air Force, with headquarters at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. He directs Air Force support of Civil Air Patrol and commands all Air Force personnel assigned to the headquarters and the eight region and 52 wing liaison offices. As the executive director, General Patton serves in a civilian capacity and administers the day-to-day activities and is a voting member of the Civil Air Patrol National Board and National Executive Committee. The Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and is a federally chartered, benevolent, civilian organization.
General Patton was born in 1931, in Baltimore and received his high school diploma from Baltimore City College in 1949. He graduated from the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base, in 1965 and received a bachelor of arts degree in management from the University of Nebraska, Omaha, in 1966. In May 1973 General Patton completed the Air War College, also at Maxwell, and subsequently received a master of science degree from Troy (Ala.) State University. He attended Northwestern University's graduate school of management for senior executives in 1978.
He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in April 1952 and served as a crew chief at Vance Air Force Base, Okla., until his entry into the aviation cadet flying program in January 1953. General Patton received his commission and wings at Greenville Air Force Base, Miss., in April 1954. He then attended fighter gunnery school at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, and Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.
His first operational assignment was with the 12th Strategic Fighter Wing, Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas, where he flew F-84s from July 1954 to February 1955. He was then assigned to the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio, flying RB-47E's. In September 1958 his unit was redesignated the 376th Bombardment Wing (electronics countermeasures), and General Patton flew EB-47E's as pilot and standardization and evaluation examiner until June 1964. He graduated from the Air Command and Staff College in June 1965 and the University of Nebraska in June 1966. From June 1966 until July 1971, General Patton served as a U-2 pilot and as an operating location commander with the 349th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. From the forward operating locations, he flew missions over both North and South Vietnam. He commanded this squadron from July 1971 to July 1972.
Following completion of the Air War College, General Patton was assigned as vice commander of the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., in July 1973. He became vice commander of the 43rd Strategic Wing, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, in July 1975 and assumed command of the wing in March 1976. General Patton was assigned to the Directorate of Operations and Readiness, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., in July 1977 initially as chief of the Strategic Division, then as deputy director for readiness development and finally as deputy director for operations and training. In July 1978 he was named deputy director for operations and readiness.
In July 1979 he took command of Strategic Air Command's 4th Air Division at Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo. He assumed his present command in August 1981.
The general is a command pilot with more than 6,000 flying hours. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster and Air Medal.
He was promoted to brigadier general June 1, 1979, with date of rank May 21, 1979.