Retired Sep. 1, 1979.
Brigadier General George K. Patterson is commander of the Defense Electronics Supply Center, Dayton, Ohio. The center, a field activity of the Defense Logistics Agency, procures, manages and supplies common electronic parts used by the U.S. armed services and various other government agencies.
General Patterson was born in Orlando, Fla., and graduated from Oakwood High School, near Dayton, Ohio. He attended one year at Purdue University, then entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., where he earned his bachelor of military art and engineering degree and Air Force commission in June 1950. In 1957 he completed graduate studies at the University of Michigan and earned master of science degrees in both aeronautical and instrumentation engineering. He graduated from the Squadron Officer School in 1953, Armed Forces Staff College in 1965 and National War College in 1968. He was later selected as the first Air Force participant at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan Program for senior executives, graduating in April 1974.
General Patterson earned his pilot wings in August 1951 and after completing gunnery training was assigned to the 51st Fighter Wing, Naha Air Base, Okinawa. He later joined the 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing at Suwon Air Base, Korea, where he flew 100 combat missions in the F-80 Shooting Star, the first operational U.S. jet fighter.
Subsequent assignments included pilot, student and jet gunnery instructor duty at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., Pinecastle Air Force Base, Fla., and Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas.
In 1955 General Patterson was selected for graduate studies at the University of Michigan. This was followed by duty as an exchange instructor in weapon systems engineering at West Point where he modernized the academy's curriculum with new analog and digital computer instruction and originated courses in orbital mechanics, inertial navigation, servomechanisms and system dynamics.
In 1960 General Patterson began a 17-year association with Air Force Systems Command with an assignment to the Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. During the early 1960s he designed, procured and programmed a modern hybrid computer for the flight simulation of the X-20 Dyna-Soar orbital research vehicle. He modernized the Edwards Test Range, updating the telemetry and radar systems and designing ground control and display centers for such test aircraft as the B-70, YF-12 and SR-71.
From 1965 to 1967, he was chief of the Apollo Ships Division at the Air Force Eastern Test Range, Fla., and was responsible for final development and testing of five large range tracking ships expressly designed for the Apollo lunar-landing mission. He coordinated the efforts of shipyard offices in both Quincy, Mass., and New Orleans, and more than 500 engineers, crew technicians and support contractors, and achieved on-time test and delivery of the ships for the first and all subsequent Apollo flights.
After graduating from the National War College in 1968, General Patterson became director of test centers at Air Force Systems Command headquarters, with responsibility for policy, monitoring and assignment of all Systems Command test activities.
In November 1970 General Patterson assumed command of the Air Force Human Resources Laboratory. Under his direction the laboratory created, and now employs, the Air Force's most sophisticated flight training simulation facility at Williams Air Force Base, Ariz., and a technical training research center at Lowry Air Force Base, Colo.
In March 1973 General Patterson was assigned to the Aeronautical Systems Division at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, as deputy for the short-range attack missile program. Under his direction the first 1,000 missiles were delivered and the first 14 Strategic Air Command wings activated without a single schedule deviation and with a contract underrun of $60 million.
In August 1974 he was assigned as deputy for engineering and became responsible for engineering support of all programs conducted by the division. In July 1975 General Patterson was named deputy for reconnaissance, strike, electronic warfare, Aeronautical Systems Division, and in February 1976 become the first deputy for aeronautical equipment. He assumed command of the Defense Electronics Supply Center on March 7, 1977.
He is command pilot with more than 3,000 flying hours. His decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award ribbon and the Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with oak leaf cluster.
General Patterson was promoted to the grade of brigadier general July 1, 1975, with date of rank June 3, 1975.