Retired June 1, 1966. Died May 18, 1995.
Douglas Ellsworth Williams was born in Newport, Va., in 1911. His primary and secondary education were received at Blacksburg, Va. Entering Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1928, he graduated four years later with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering and a reserve commission in the U.S. Army. Graduate work at Virginia Polytechnic Institute was accomplished during the following year which resulted in a master of science degree in electrical engineering.
Having completed his formal education, he entered the flying school at Randolph Field, Texas, in June 1933 and graduated from Kelly Field, Texas, one year later. He was subsequently assigned to the Eighth Pursuit Group at Langley Field, Va. for active duty.
Serving with the 36th Squadron of the Eighth Pursuit Group for some four years, Captain Williams was transferred to Headquarters Air Force shortly after its formation at Langley Field, Va. His following assignment in January 1942 was with the Headquarters West Coast Flying Training Command as Assistant A-3.
In June 1942 Lieutenant Colonel Williams was selected for a special assignment as Air Communications Officer on the staff of Admiral Louis Mountbatten, Royal Navy, Chief Combined Operations Headquarters, London, where he remained until December 1942. During this time he participated in the planning and implementation of the Dieppe raid and the North African invasion. He was later assigned to the Mediterranean Air Command Headquarters at Algiers in January 1943 where he served as a member of the Joint Air Communications Staff in formulating plans for the Sicilian operation. He was appointed communications officer of the l2th Tactical Air Command in June 1943 and remained in this capacity during the Sicilian and Italian Campaigns, receiving the Legion of Merit for his efforts.
Colonel Williams was returned to the United States in December 1943 for duty on the faculty of the Army Navy Staff College, Washington, D.C. He remained there until July 1945 at which time he was sent to the West Coast Flying Training Command as assistant chief of staff operations and training.
In December 1945 Colonel Williams entered the University of Michigan for training in Latin American Geopolitics and Language. Upon completion of this course, he was appointed chief, U.S. Air Force Mission to Venezuela, in June 1946. This assignment was held until June 1949 when he returned to the U.S. to attend the Air War College.
Completing the Air War College in 1950, Colonel Williams served as director of instructions, Air Command and Staff School, until June 1953. He then attended the National War College, Washington, D.C. and graduated in June 1954.
The colonel's next assignment was chief, Strategic Division, Office Assistant Chief of Staff, Guided Missiles, Headquarters, U.S. Air Force. This assignment continued until May 1958 when he was ordered to duty in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as military adviser to the director of guided missiles.
Colonel Williams left the Office of the Secretary of Defense in August 1958 and assumed the duties of director, communications-electronics, Air Defense Command, Colorado Springs, Colo. He was promoted to brigadier general there in March 1961.
General Williams was the assistant chief of staff for communications and electronics staff, Commander in Chief, Pacific in Hawaii from July 1961 to July 1964.
On Aug. 7, 1964 General Williams assumed duties of chief of staff, Air Force Communications Service, at Scott Air Force Base, Ill.