Retired Oct. 1, 1971. Died Aug. 9, 1998.
Brigadier General Edgar Harrison Underwood Jr., is commander, Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.
General Underwood was born in Fort Mott, N.J., in 1918. He graduated from Tuscaloosa Senior High School, Tuscaloosa, Ala., in 1933, and received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Alabama in 1936. He entered the University of Alabama School of Medicine in the fall of 1936 and in September 1938 transferred to the junior class at the Tulane University School of Medicine at New Orleans, La. He received a doctor of medicine degree from Tulane in June 1940 and served his internship at the Lloyd Noland Hospital, Fairfield, Ala. He was a member of the ROTC in premedical school and was commissioned a second lieutenant, Coast Artillery Reserve in May 1936, transferring to the Medical Reserve in March 1941.
General Underwood entered active military duty in June 1941 and was assigned as surgeon for an armored signal battalion at Camp Wallace, Texas. In September 1941 he was transferred to the Panama Canal Zone where he served as surgeon of an anti-aircraft artillery regiment commanded by his father. Later that year he was placed on detached duty with the governor of the Panama Canal Zone as a medical officer with the health department, serving in the surgical service at Colon Hospital. He served in that capacity until June 1947 when he entered the Army medical residency training program in general surgery at Madigan General Hospital, Fort Lewis, Wash.
He was transferred to Walter Reed General Hospital, Washington, D.C., in June 1948 as chief resident in general surgery. Upon completion of his residency in June 1949 he transferred to the newly formed medical service of the Air Force and was assigned as chief of surgery at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. He attended the School of Aviation Medicine, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, from August to November 1951 when he was assigned as center surgeon and hospital commander at the Air Force Missile Test Center, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. During this assignment he worked with the early missile program and established the guidelines for health hazards.
In March 1953 General Underwood was assigned to the USAF Hospital, Tachikawa, Japan, where he served as chief of surgery and later as hospital commander. For three months he commanded an Aeromedical Evacuation Group which moved casualties out of Korea. Upon return to the United States in December 1954, he was assigned as chief of surgery and later as hospital commander at the USAF Hospital, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. In June 1957 he became commander of the USAF Hospital, Orlando Air Force Base, Fla. This began a seven year assignment to the Military Air Trans Port Service (later designated Military Airlift Command).
In June 1959 he became commander of the USAF Hospital, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., serving in that position until June 1964 when he became vice commander, Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. He was assigned as command surgeon, Air University, and commander of the USAF Hospital at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in June 1965. He remained there until October 1958 when he became commander, Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center, his present position.
His military decorations include the Army Commendation Medal. He also wears the Missileman Badge and holds the aeronautical rating of Chief Flight Surgeon.