Retired Sep. 1, 1972. Died Oct. 2, 1990.
Brig. Gen. Donald F. Blake is the director of military assistance and sales, Deputy Chief of Staff, Systems and Logistics, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. He is responsible for discharging the Department of the Air Force's responsibilities under the Military Assistance Program in the manner best adapted to the timely and effective attainment of United States objectives in the field of military assistance, both Grant Aid and Foreign Military Sales.
General Blake was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1917. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., in 1942, and completed flying school and received his pilot wings at Roswell, N.M., in November 1942.
During World War II, he was assigned to the 341st Bombardment Group in the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations from October 1943 to April 1945. He flew 62 combat missions in B-25 aircraft, served as squadron operations officer and later, as director of operations for the bombardment group.
After the war, General Blake attended Columbia University Graduate School where he majored in the Russian language, international relations and European area study. Subsequently, he served in various intelligence assignments with U.S. Air Forces in Europe.
In July 1950 he was assigned to Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., as a student. In January 1951 he became a member of the Evaluation Staff of the Air War College. In January 1954 he became director of operations of the 461st Bombardment Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and later was appointed commander of the 461st Bombardment Group.
General Blake was assigned in November 1954 as plans officer and executive officer to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations, Allied Air Forces Central Europe (NATO) in Fontainebleau, France.
He returned to the United States in July 1958 and became deputy for operations for the 837th Air Division (Tactical Reconnaissance) at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. He was transferred in January 1961 to Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, to become commander of the 64th Troop Carrier Wing. During his assignment as wing commander, he attended the Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Ga., and was awarded the Parachutist Badge upon completion of the course.
General Blake was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., in July 1962, where he served a year on the staff in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations. In July 1963 he began a three year tour of duty as the Air Force member in the Tactical Branch, Requirements and Developments Division, Directorate of Plans, Joint Chiefs of Staff. In August 1966 he returned to the Air University as commandant of Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps.
General Blake assumed duties in February 1970 as the director of military assistance and sales, Deputy Chief of Staff, Systems and Logistics, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.
His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal and Purple Heart. He is a command pilot.
He was promoted to the temporary grade of brigadier general effective Aug. 1, 1966, with date of rank July 29, 1966.