Retired July 1, 1972. Died Oct. 16, 1985.
Brigadier General Edwin J. White Jr., is director, plans and programs, U.S. Southern Command, Canal Zone.
General White was born in 1922, in Lynchburg, Va., where he graduated from Holy Cross Academy and attended Lynchburg College. He completed studies and received a bachelor of arts degree in business administration from Jackson College in 1957 while serving in Hawaii. He entered aviation cadet bombardier training in March 1942 and graduated in January 1943 with a commission as second lieutenant.
During World War II, General White served in the Southwest Pacific area with the 90th Bombardment Group in New Guinea. He completed 54 combat missions. In July 1944 he returned to the United States and became a bombardier instructor at Westover Field, Mass. He entered officer pilot training in November 1944 at Turner Field, Ga., and later at Arcadia Field, Texas.
In May 1946 he went to Perrin Field, Texas, as a pilot and was administrative assistant operations officer. He was assigned as Reserve Officers Training Corps instructor at West Virginia University in November 1946. In February 1948 he went to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., where he served as pilot with the 64th Bombardment Squadron, 43d Bombardment Group, and then was assistant operations officer and later operations officer for the 20th Bombardment Squadron, 2d Bombardment Group, which moved to Chatham and then Hunter Air Force Bases, Ga. During 1949 he attended U.S. Air Force Special Weapons School, Sandia Base, N.M. While at Hunter Air Force Base he became operations officer for the 20th Bombardment Squadron in November 1951; Commander, 373d Bombardment Squadron in February 1953; and Deputy Director of Operations, 38th Air Division in November 1953.
He returned during 1953 to the Pacific area where he served in the Korea War. In June 1954 he went to Headquarters Far East Air Forces in Japan and was assigned to the Directorate of Operations as combat operations officer, Special Operations Division, and then as operations staff officer, Offense Branch, Operations Plans Division. In December 1956 he was transferred to Hawaii where he served in the Directorate of Operations, Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, and in February 1958 he was assigned to Pacific Command, as assistant executive and then executive to the deputy chief of staff, plans and Operations.
General White returned to the United States in 1959 to attend the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. In July 1960 he was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., as plans officer in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations. He became deputy commander for operations, 3560th Pilot training Wing, Webb Air Force Base, Texas, in July 1964.
He returned for his fourth tour of duty in the Far East in July 1966 and was assigned as director of operations, Thirteenth Air Force, at Clark Air Base, Republic of the Philippines. Later as vice commander of the 405th Fighter Wing, he flew 41 combat missions in B-57 bomber and F-102 fighter aircraft during a combat tour of duty in the Republic of Vietnam. In July 1967 he became deputy chief of staff for plans, Thirteenth Air Force. He returned to Southeast Asia, in November 1968, as commander, 56th Special Operations Wing at Royal Thai Air Force Base, Nakhom Phanom, Thailand. On that tour of duty he flew 233 combat missions. He was assigned as commander of the 3535th Navigator Training Wing at Mather Air Force Base, Calif., in November 1969.
General White became director, plans and programs, U.S. Southern Command, Canal Zone, in March 1970.
His military decorations include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 16 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal, Purple Heart, Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem, and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. He is a command pilot with more than 8,000 flying hours in many types of aircraft including B-29, B-50, B-57, F-51, F-84, F-100, F-102, T-37, T-38, A-1, and A-26.
General White is married to the former Eileen Reynolds of Lynchburg, Va. They have three sons: Mike, Alan and Richard, an Air Force lieutenant and graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, now in pilot training at Williams Air Force Base, Ariz.; and a daughter: Linda, a student at Loretta Heights College, Denver, Colo.
He was promoted to the temporary grade of brigadier general effective May 1, 1970, with date of rank April 20, 1970.