Military Bios

Brigadier General George K. Sykes:

Military Branch:United States Airforce
Retired March 31, 1972.  
Brigadier General George K. Sykes is vice commander, U.S. Air Force Security Service, San Antonio, Texas.
General Sykes was born in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1921. He graduated from Upper Darby High School, Upper Darby, Pa., in 1938, and attended Pennsylvania State until 1939. He was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., in 1939, and graduated with a bachelor of science degree and a commission as a second lieutenant in January 1943. He attended pilot training in the Southeast and received his pilot wings at the advanced flying school at Columbus, Miss., in 1943.
During World War II, his first duty assignment, from April to December 1943, was as a P-38 Lightning instructor pilot in Glendale, Calif. General Sykes flew 49 combat missions over Germany and France in P-38 Lightning and P-51 Mustang aircraft with the 435th Fighter Squadron, Eighth Air Force.
In June 1946 he returned to the United States and served in the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Headquarters U.S. Army Air Forces, Washington, D.C. He entered the University of Pennsylvania as a postgraduate student in industrial management in September 1948, and was awarded a master of business administration degree in July 1950.
In August 1950 he was assigned to Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., as chief, Air Order of Battle and Tactics Branch, and later as chief, Operational Intelligence Branch, Air Estimates Division. His next assignment, in February 1953, was at Turner Air Force Base, Ga., where he served first as deputy commander, and then as assistant director of operations, 40th Air Division.
In May 1955 General Sykes became plans officer for the Air Force Group of the Joint U.S. Military Mission for Aid to Turkey. In May 1957 he was named commander of the last B-25 Mitchell bomber training group in the Air Force, at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas.
He was transferred in November 1958 to Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., as assistant executive officer and later was executive officer of the 3894th School Group. He graduated from the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in June 1960, and again was assigned to intelligence duties in Washington, D.C., first with Headquarters U.S. Air Force and later with the Defense Intelligence Agency. In June 1963 General Sykes was transferred to Langley Air Force Base, Va., and became deputy chief of staff for intelligence, Headquarters Tactical Air Command.
He was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, in March 1966, as assistant deputy chief of staff for intelligence and then was the deputy chief of staff for intelligence. He was transferred to the Republic of Vietnam in June 1969 as deputy chief of staff for intelligence, Seventh Air Force, Tan Son Nhut Airfield.
General Sykes returned to the United States in January 1971 and was assigned as vice commander of the U.S. Air Force Security Service, San Antonio, Texas.
His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Purple Heart and the Presidential Unit Citation Emblem. He is a command pilot.
General Sykes' hometown is Drexel Hill, Pa.
He was promoted to the temporary grade of brigadier general effective Aug. 1, 1969, with date of rank May 29, 1969.


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