Retired Aug. 1, 1972. Died Nov. 1, 1996.
Brigadier General Fred A. Heimstra is commander of the USAF Medical Center, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss.
General Heimstra was born in 1915, in Chicago, Ill., but grew up in Blue Island, Ill. He received his bachelor of science and bachelor of medicine degrees at the University of Illinois and his doctor of medicine degree from the University of Illinois Medical School in 1940.
He entered the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant in July 1940. From December 1940 to May 1947 he served in several medical officer assignments including medical supply officer and flight surgeon at Eglin Field, Fla.; surgeon for a fighter group in Brazil; and base surgeon at Presque Isle, Maine, and Hickam Field, Hawaii. He was relieved from active duty in May 1947 and entered residency training in obstetrics and gynecology.
In July 1949 General Heimstra returned to active military service with the U.S. Air Force Medical Service, completed his residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at Suburban Hospital in Chicago, Ill., and from June 1950 to March 1952 he served as chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Westover Air Force Base, Mass.
In March 1952 General Heimstra was appointed commander, as well as chief Obstetrics and Gynecology, and in May 1954 as commander and aviation medical officer for the 1604th Medical Squadron at Kindley Air Force Base, Bermuda. He returned to the United States in September 1954 and was assigned as commander of the 3535th USAF Hospital and chief, Obstetrics and Gynecology, at Mather Air Force Base, Calif.
General Heimstra was transferred overseas to Clark Air Base, the Philippines, in November 1958 as deputy director and later was commander of the USAF Hospital, and in August 1959 was appointed staff surgeon, Thirteenth Air Force. In June 1960 he went to Tachikawa Air Base, Japan, as commander of the USAF Hospital.
In July 1962 General Heimstra returned to the United States and was assigned to Headquarters Military Air Transport Service at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., as deputy command surgeon. In August 1964 he was transferred to Headquarters Air Defense Command, Ent Air Force Base, Colo., as deputy command surgeon and later became command surgeon. His next appointment was at Norton Air Force Base, Calif., in August 1966 as assistant for medical services for the deputy inspector general for safety and inspection and in September 1967 became medical adviser.
From May 1968 to July 1971 General Heimstra was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., as director, Plans and Hospitalization, in the Office of the Surgeon General.
In July 1971 General Heimstra was appointed commander of the USAF Medical Center at Keesler Technical Training Center, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss.
He is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and is rated as chief flight surgeon. He is a member of the Air Force Association, the Aerospace Medical Association, Society of Air Force Clinical Surgeons, the Industrial Medical Association, and the Maternal Welfare Association.
His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters.
He was promoted to the temporary grade of brigadier general effective Feb. 7, 1969, with date of rank Feb. 4, 1969.