Died Dec. 1, 1971.
Emil Charles Kiel was born at Manitowee, Wis., in 1895. He graduated from Stout Institute at Menomonie, Wis., in 1917, and in May of that year entered the Reserve Officer's Training Camp at Fort Sheridan, Ill. He left the camp in August and two months later enlisted as a flying cadet and began ground school training at Austin, Texas. In January 1918, he was detailed to the Primary Flying School at Kelly Field, Texas, from which he graduated March 28, 1918. That same date he was appointed a second lieutenant in the Aviation Section of the Signal Reserve.
His first assignment was as a flying instructor with the 91st Aero Squadron at Mather Field, Calif. In November 1919, he became post exchange officer at Mather field. Shortly afterward he organized the forest fire control for the state of Oregon and following a brief tour of duty at Eugene, Ore., was transferred to Crissy Field, Calif., where he served as post adjutant. On July 1, 1920, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Air Service of the Regular Army, and that same date was promoted to first lieutenant.
In February 1923, he went to Luke Field, Hawaii, for duty with the Sixth Pursuit Squadron and March 1924, became post armament officer at that station. Returning to the United States in February 1926, he became a flying instructor at the Air Service Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, Texas. A year later he was named director of flying at the school and also served as senior instructor in the pursuit and attack sections.
In September 1931, he entered the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Ala., from which graduated the following June. He remained at the school as an instructor in attack aviation until he enrolled in the command and general staff school at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., in August 1936. After graduating the following June he was assigned to March Field, Calif., as commanding officer of the 34th Attack Squadron.
He returned to the Air Corps Tactical School in January 1939, to take the Special Naval Operations Course and after completing the course, returned to his duties at March Field. In September 1939 he was detailed to the Army War College at Washington, D.C., from which he graduated in June 1940. The following July he was assigned to the Operations and Training Division of the War Department General Staff in Washington. In April 1941, he was assigned to the Office of the Chief of Air Corps at Washington and the following December became chief of staff of the Fourth Air Force at San Francisco, Calif. In June 1944, he assumed command of the 318th Wing at Glendale, Calif., and a month later was reassigned to the Fourth Air Force.
General Kiel joined the Eighth Air Force in Europe in November 1944. The following month he was designated deputy commander for administration of the Eighth, with station in London, England and in July 1945, became chief of staff. In October 1945, he was named chief of staff of the Eighth Fighter Command. The following March he became commanding general of the 40th Bomb Wing at Erlangen, Germany and upon deactivation of the unit was named president of two military courts at Dachau, Germany; one involving the Buchenwald atrocity cases.
In December 1946 General Kiel was assigned to the 12th Tactical Air Command in that theater, and the following April joined the headquarters of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe.
He returned to the United States in October 1947 to assume command of Scott Air Force Base, Ill. In July 1949, he was appointed commanding general of the 3750th Technical Training Wing at Sheppard Air Force Base, Wichita Falls, Texas, and commander of Sheppard Air Force Base.
General Kiel assumed command of Caribbean Air Command at Albrook Air Force Base, Canal Zone, in November 1950.
General Kiel has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal and the Air Medal. His foreign decorations include the British Commander of the British Empire and the French Croix de Guerre.
He is rated a command pilot, combat observer and aircraft observer.