Retired July 1, 1986.
Brigadier General Donald C. Smith is assistant deputy chief of staff for operations, Military Airlift Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.
General Smith was born in 1937, in Clinton, Okla. He graduated from Clinton High School in 1955 and received a bachelor of science degree in general engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., in 1959. The general earned a master's degree in aerospace mechanical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, in 1968. He completed the National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C., in 1977.
The general was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force in June 1959 following graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy. He then received primary pilot training at Bartow Air Force Base, Fla., and advanced pilot training at Webb Air Force Base, Texas. From September 1960 until May 1961, he was assigned to B-47 combat crew training at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. The general then moved to Strategic Air Command's 100th Bombardment Wing, Pease Air Force Base, N.H., as a B-47 co-pilot and later as an aircraft commander until March 1966. Following graduation from the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in April 1968, General Smith attended the 0-1 Forward Air Controller Course at Hurlburt Field, Fla.
In July 1968 he became the air liaison officer for the U.S. 7th Infantry Division at Camp Casey, South Korea. He also advised the Republic of Korea's 25th and 28th army divisions. He served a temporary tour of duty with the 20th Direct Air Support Squadron (later designated Tactical Air Support Squadron) at Chu Lai and Da Nang Air Bases, Republic of Vietnam, during March and April 1969, flying 0-2 close air support combat missions.
General Smith was assigned to Headquarters Military Airlift Command, Scott Air Force Base, from August 1969 to April 1973. While there he was a program manager in the Directorate of Operational Requirements. He also maintained aircraft commander status in C-131s. From August 1973 to December 1974, General Smith served as a C-141 aircraft commander, instructor pilot, flight examiner and operations officer with the 76th Military Airlift Squadron, Charleston Air Force Base, S.C. He took command of the 76th Military Airlift Squadron in December 1974 and remained there until June 1976 when he entered the National War College.
Following graduation in June 1977, he was assigned as chief of the Middle East and Africa Branch, Plans and Policy Directorate, J-5, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C. General Smith was named vice commander of the 62nd Military Airlift Wing at McChord Air Force Base, Wash., in April 1979 and took command of the wing in September 1979. In June 1982 he became commander of the U.S. Forces, Azores, and the 1605th Military Airlift Support Wing, Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal. During this tour of duty, he was successful in helping to negotiate a far-reaching new defense treaty with the Portuguese government. In June 1984 he became vice commander of the Military Traffic Management Command, Washington, D.C. He assumed his present duties in July 1985.
The general is a command pilot with more than 4,800 flying hours, including combat hours in the Republic of Vietnam. His military decorations and awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal and Vietnam Service Medal.
He was promoted to brigadier general May 1, 1983, with date of rank Oct. 1, 1982.