Retired July 1, 1978.
Brigadier General David W. Winn is commander of the North American Air Defense Command Combat Operations Center located in Cheyenne Mountain near Colorado Springs, Colo. He is responsible for the operation and management of the underground command and control center for NORAD and the U.S. Air Force Aerospace Defense Command, with consolidated headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.
General Winn was born in Austin, Minn., in 1923. He graduated from Austin Central High in 1941 and attended Carroll College, Waukesha, Wis., until he enlisted as an aviation cadet in the U.S. Army Air Corps in February 1942. He was commissioned a second lieutenant and received his pilot wings in February 1943.
During World War II, General Winn served with the Twelfth Air Force and flew combat missions in the B-26 and P-38 aircraft from Sardinia and Italy. He returned to the United States in November 1944 and flew Mustangs, Thunderbolts and P-80s as a gunnery instructor in the Air Training Command fighter-gunnery research squadron. General Winn separated from the Air Force in 1948 and returned to school at the University of Minnesota. He was a member of the Minnesota Air National Guard until he was recalled to active duty in February 1951.
General Winn served with the 109th Fighter Squadron at Minneapolis until August 1952. He then was transferred to Germany where he became a squadron operations officer in the 86th Fighter Wing. In August 1955 he was assigned to the 94th Fighter Squadron at Selfridge Air Force Base, Mich. In 1958 General Winn resumed studies at the University of Minnesota under Project Bootstrap and graduated in August of that year with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism.
His next assignment was to Headquarters Air Defense Command at Ent Air Force Base, Colo., where he served until July 1962 as a member of the Air Defense Command tactical evaluation unit and operational readiness inspection team as chief of the Operational Readiness Inspection Branch and flew F-102 and F-106 aircraft.
From July 1962 to May 1964, he was an exchange officer with the Royal Air Force, flying Hawker Hunters and English Electric Lightnings. He completed this tour of duty as an operations staff officer at Fighter Command Headquarters.
He next was assigned to the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as military secretary of the United States section of the Canada-United States Military Cooperation Committee and of the Canada-United States Regional Planning Group, NATO, in Washington, D.C. From July 1966 to June 1967, General Winn attended the National War College and completed graduate studies in international affairs at The George Washington University.
In March 1968 he was assigned to the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing at Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, as assistant deputy commander, operations. On Aug. 9, 1968, he was shot down over North Vietnam and was a prisoner of war until March 1973.
In August 1973 General Winn was appointed vice commander, Sheppard Technical Training Center, Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. He then became deputy commander of the 22d NORAD Region, Canadian Forces Base North Bay, Ontario, Canada. He served in this position from August 1974 to August 1976, when he became chief of staff, Headquarters NORAD/ADCOM, at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. He assumed his present duty May 27, 1977.
General Winn is a command pilot with more than 6,000 flying hours. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal with "V" device and oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with 17 oak leaf clusters, Purple Heart with two oak leaf clusters, and the Distinguished Unit Citation.
He was promoted to the grade of brigadier general April 2, 1973, with date of rank March 30, 1973.