Retired July 31, 1963. Died July 16, 1983.
Felix Louis Vidal was born in 1912, in Madison, S.D. He graduated from Madison High School in June of 1929 and entered West Point in July of the same year. He graduated and was commissioned a second lieutenant in June 1933. While at West Point he played varsity football for two years quarterbacking the highly successful team in his senior year. He was named on most of the All-American teams of that year.
Vidal's first assignment was that of student officer at Kelly Field, Texas. In 1934 he received his pilot's wings and today is rated as a command pilot.
Assigned to Barksdale Field, La., in October 1934, he served as a squadron officer of the 20th Pursuit and 3rd Attack Group until April 1937, when he went to Panama. There, he was a pilot in the l0th Pursuit Group until returning to Mitchel Field, N.Y., in July 1939, as base adjutant and aide-to-commander, Air Defense Command, and finally deputy chief of staff, operations of 1st Fighter Command.
In 1943, he went to Peterson Field, Colo., as commander of the 72nd Fighter Wing where he remained until July 1944, when he served as executive, then commander of the 306th Fighter Wing, and finally commander of the 325th Fighter Group, 15th Air Force, Mediterranean Theater of Operations.
He returned to the Zone of Interior in July 1945, reporting to Headquarters Army Air Corps in Washington, D.C. in the capacity of director of manpower. He held this position until November 1946, at which time he resigned his commission to accept a position as assistant to the president of the Wilson Foundry and Machine Company, Pontiac, Mich.
Commissioned in the Reserve in 1947, General Vidal became active in reserve affairs through the 9613th Volunteer Air Reserve Training Squadron at Pontiac, Mich., of which he was an active member until joining the Ready Reserves in 1951. In April 1952, he assumed command of the 1439th Fighter Bomber Wing and shaped it from its initial nucleus of 23 members to a strength of more than 900 active reservists. During this period, General Vidal participated in the Air Force Association and served as vice chairman and chairman of air affairs for the Reserve Officers Association, relinquishing this position in March 1955.
Returning to active duty March 1, 1955, General Vidal was appointed deputy commander for Reserve affairs, Continental Air Command, with the headquarters at Mitchel Air Force Base, N.Y. On Nov. 6, 1957, he was transferred to Headquarters U.S. Air Force with duty as deputy assistant chief of staff for Reserve forces. On Nov. 5, 1958 the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Reserve Forces was reorganized, designating General Vidal as deputy for Air Force Reserve Affairs. He assumed command of the Second Air Force Reserve Region on Aug. 2, 1960. In his present command, he directs the activities of the Air Force Reserve in the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.