Died Aug. 11, 1980.
Ezekiel Wimberly Napier was born in Hawkinsville, Ga., in 1906. Enlisting in the Army in September 1922, he was selected in July 1925 as a candidate to the U.S. Military Academy. Graduating in 1929, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Regular Army.
General Napier received his wings the following June after completing pilot training at Brooks and Kelly fields, Texas. While in pilot training he attended St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas and received his bachelor of arts degree in history.
His first assignment was as a flying instructor at Kelly Air Force Base, Texas. In May 1931 he was assigned successively to Luke and Wheeler fields in Hawaii where he assumed duties in materiel and communications.
The general returned to the United States in 1934 to become an academic instructor at Randolph Field, Texas. While stationed at Randolph he attended the Air Corps Tactical School at Montgomery, Ala., graduating in March 1940. Leaving Randolph that April, General Napier spent the next three years in Washington, D.C., first as engineering officer and squadron commander at Bolling Field, and later at Army Air Corps headquarters as an administrative officer in War Organization and Movements.
In August 1943 General Napier entered B-24 transition training at Fort Worth, Texas. Completing this training in October of the same year at Mountain Home, Idaho, he became group commander of the 489th Bomb Group at Wendover Field, Utah. The group was assigned in April 1944 to the Eighth Air Force in England and the general went overseas with the unit as commander.
Returning to the United States in December 1944, General Napier was appointed a group commander at Lincoln Air Force Base, Neb., until March 1945 when he was transferred to Randolph Field, Texas where he remained until August 1947, holding the positions of inspector general, assistant chief of staff, Materiel, and deputy chief of staff in the Army Air Force Flying Training Command.
Completing the Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in June 1948, the general then became inspector general for the 12th Air Force, stationed at March Air Force Base, Calif. Subsequent assignments in the 12th Air Force included the positions of deputy chief of staff, Materiel; base commander, Brooks Air Force Base, Texas; and vice commander, 12th Air Force, March Air Force Base.
Assigned in August 1950 to the 14th Air Force at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., with duty as professor of air science and tactics at Texas A&M College, in June 1952 General Napier became deputy commandant for the Air Force ROTC at Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Ala.
Joining the Caribbean Air Command, in August 1954 the general was named chief of staff and deputy commander, with station at Albrook Air Force Base, Canal Zone.
Returning to the United States, General Napier was assigned at Air Force headquarters, Washington, D.C. as a member of the Personnel Council, Secretary of the Air Force.
His decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, the French Croix de Guerre with palm, and the Chinese Special Paoting (Tripod). He is rated a command pilot.