Retired Aug. 1, 1968. Died Dec. 4, 1998.
Douglas Clinton Polhamus was born at Berryville, Va., in 1915. He graduated from Berryville High School in 1933 and then entered Shepherd College, W.Va. While attending Shepherd College, he received a congressional appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. He attended the acacemy from 1934 to 1938 and graduated in the upper third of his class.
Second Lieutenant Polhamus' first assignment was to Randolph Field, Texas as a student officer for flying training. He received his wings at Kelly Field in 1939, and today is rated a command pilot with more than 1,000 hours of flying.
After graduation from Kelly, Lieutenant Polhamus was assigned to Randolph Field as a flying instructor with the Air Training Command. He served in the training command at various training bases as flight instructor, squadron commander and director of training through 1943.
In 1944, Lieutenant Colonel Polhamus was assigned to a B-29 Group for training prior to moving overseas with the unit in 1945. He participated in the air offensive against Japan from Guam, as deputy and group commander, 330th Bomb Group, flying more than 200 combat hours before World War II ended. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, the Air Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star and the Distinguished Unit Emblem with cluster.
In 1947, Colonel Polhamus returned from Guam and was assigned as a student to the Armed Forced Staff College, Norfolk, Va. Upon graduation, he was detailed to the faculty and served at Norfolk until 1950.
Following a four-year assignment in the Air Force Atomic Energy office at Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Colonel Polhamus attended the National War College, graduating in 1955. He was then assigned to Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Powers of Europe, and served for three years as the deputy assistant chief of staff, Air and Special Operations Division, SHAPE.
Following his return to the United States from Europe, Colonel Polhamus was assigned as the deputy assistant for atomic energy, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. In July 1960, Brigadier General Polhamus became deputy chief, Defense Atomic Support Agency, Washington, D.C., and held that position for three years. In July 1963, he was assigned to the 5th Air Force in Japan for duty as the chief of staff, where he served until June 1964.
Brigadier General Polhamus became commander of the 6100th Support Wing, where he was responsible for the administration of all Air Force logistic and support activities in the Tokyo area. He was awarded a second Legion of Merit for his performance there.
His final assignment was as commander, 1001st Air Base Wing, Headquarters Command, Andrews Air Force Base, Md., from September 1966 until his retirement.