Retired Oct. 1, 1965. Died April 29, 1992.
George Mercer Higginson was born in New York City in 1917. He completed DeWitt Clinton High School in 1934, attended Stanton Preparatory Academy, Cornwall, N.Y., and entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., in 1935. Upon graduation in 1939, Second Lieutenant Higginson was commissioned in the Signal Corps and stationed at Fort Des Moines, Iowa. For the next two years he participated in maneuvers and exercises related to the expansion of the U.S. Army immediately preceding World War II. He was stationed successively at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. and Maxwell Field, Ala., entering the Signal Corps School at Fort Monmouth, N.J. in 1941.
Transferred to the Aircraft Warning Unit Training Center at Drew Field, Fla., in 1942, Captain Higginson was involved in radar training there and at Bradenton, Fla. In 1944, Lieutenant Colonel Higginson became commander of the 564th Signal Aircraft Warning Battalion and led it to the European theater, serving in England, France, Belgium and Germany, with the Ninth Air Force. In this period, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the French Croix de Guerre. As World War II ended, he served in the communications staff of Headquarters U.S. Army Air Forces Europe, Wiesbaden, Germany.
In 1946 Lieutenant Colonel Higginson went to the Watson Laboratories at Red Bank, N.Y. While there, he transferred to the U.S. Air Force when it became a separate department. He also served a portion of this assignment at Edmonton, Canada, for the testing of experimental navigational aids.
From 1949 to 1950, he attended the Command and Staff and the Communications-Electronics schools, Maxwell Air Force Base. Following this, Colonel Higginson served in Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the Directorate of Communications-Electronics. He attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C. in 1954-55.
In 1955, Colonel Higginson went to England as the commander of the United Kingdom Airways and Air Communications Service Region, a part of the Communications Area he now commands. For this service he was awarded the Legion of Merit.
He returned to the United States in 1958,to become the deputy chief of staff for operations at Headquarters U.S. Air Force Security Service, San Antonio, Texas. While in this position, he was promoted to brigadier general in March 1961.
He then was assigned as assistant director, National Security Agency at Fort George G. Meade, Md.
General Higginson is the commander of the European-African-Middle Eastern Communications Area with headquarters at Lindsey Air Station, Germany. Concurrently he has assumed the duty as deputy chief of staff, Communications, U.S. Air Forces, Europe, also located at Lindsey Air Station.