Retired April 21, 1961. Died Nov. 15, 1992.
Fredrick Bell was born in St. Joseph, Mo., in 1911. He graduated from Troy High School, Troy Kan., in 1929. In 1932, he received a presidential appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, graduated and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Coast Artillery in June 1936.
In October 1936, Second Lieutenant Bell was transferred from the Coast Artillery to the Army Air Corps and entered pilot training at Randolph Field, Texas. In October 1937, he received his pilot wings at Kelly Field and today is rated a command pilot.
Lieutenant Bell's first assignment after graduating from flying school was adjutant of the 19th Pursuit Squadron at Wheeler Field, Hawaii. In August 1938, he was ordered to Luke Field, Hawaii, where he served with the 4th Bomb Squadron. During this period he also attended Navigation School at Hickam Field. In November 1939, he was assigned as commanding officer of the 62nd School Squadron at Kelly Field, Texas. From 1941 to 1944 he held various command assignments in maintenance and materiel. Having displayed a great interest in maintenance engineering, Colonel Bell was appointed chief, maintenance division at the Fairchild Air Service Command at Patterson Field, Ohio in 1943.
Going to the Orient in December 1944, the colonel remained in that operational theater until the end of the war, serving as deputy chief, Maintenance Division of the India-Burma Air Service Command. From September 1945 to December 1946 he served as chief, Engine Section and assistant executive of tech services, Headquarters Army Air Forces China, and later as chief of maintenance, Shanghai Air Depot, and assistant chief of staff A-4, Headquarters Command Nanking Air Division.
From January to March 1946, the colonel was designed by General Marshall as head of a peace team appointed for the purpose of conducting negotiations between the Nationalists and Communists during the China Civil War.
Outstanding activities during this period earned Colonel Bell the Legion of Merit and the Air Medal. In recognition of his services he was also awarded the following by the Republic of China.
Special Breast Order of Yun Hui
Army, Navy, Air Force Medal
From February 1947 to September 1950, Colonel Bell served as project officer for jet engine overhaul at Headquarters Air Materiel Command, and later as director of maintenance, San Antonio Air Materiel Area at Kelly Field, Texas. In October 1950, he was ordered to England and served as group commander, Headquarters 7540th Maintenance Group, Burtonwood Air Depot. Returning to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in October 1952, he was appointed deputy for operations, Directorate of Maintenance Engineering and in August 1953 was reassigned to Kelly Air Force Base as director of maintenance engineering, Headquarters San Antonio Air Materiel Area. From February 1957 to July 1958, the colonel served as a deputy commander of Headquarters San Antonio Air Materiel Area, and in August 1958, he was named deputy director of maintenance engineering Headquarters Air Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He was promoted to brigadier general in June 1959.
He was assigned duty as director, maintenance and engineering, Air Materiel Command Sept. 1, 1960. He was assigned to the U.S. Air Force Hospital Wright-Patterson as a patient March 16, 1961.
The general is a member of the Methodist Church and the Society of the Daedalians. He is also a member of the Harvard Business School Association, the Air Force Association and the Moraine Country Club of Dayton, Ohio.