Retired Feb. 1, 1968.
Brigadier General Gladwyn E. Pinkston, commander of the Montgomery Air Defense Sector, Gunter Air Force Base, has been an Air Force pilot since 1937. The 47 year old Californian has amassed some 4,500 hours in the air, of which 1,000 hours are in jets. He has served in a variety of positions from Hawaii to Italy.
He was born and raised in Pasadena, Calif. He graduated from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in June 1937 with a bachelor of science degree in mining engineering.
His cadet career began in 1937 when he reported to Randolph Field, Texas. After winning his wings at Kelly Field in 1938, General Pinkston was assigned to duty in Hawaii where he served in the 18th Pursuit Group and in the 5th Bombardment Group.
Upon his return to the United States in July 1941 he was in turn assigned duties as squadron commander at Foster Field, Victoria, Texas; squadron commander, 329th RTO Group at Westover Air Force Base, Mass., and commander of the gunnery base at Suffolk County Air Base, Long Island before he went overseas in World War II.
During his overseas tour, General Pinkston became deputy for operations for General Chidlaw's XXII Tactical Air Command and later commanded the 79th Fighter Group operating under the British Desert Air Force. During this duty General Pinkston flew 97 combat missions in France, Yugoslavia and northern Italy.
From 1945 through 1947 he commanded Luke Field, Phoenix, Ariz., and also graduated from the first class of the Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, Va.
In December 1947, he was assigned to Hawaii for a second time as commander of the 81st Fighter Group. He assumed command of the 81st Fighter Wing after the entire organization moved to Moses Lake, Wash., and then to England. While in England he managed to obtain a short combat tour of duty in Korea, where he damaged two MiG's over the Yalu. After three years duty with the wing in England, General Pinkston was returned to the United States to attend the National War College in Washington, D.C. (1954-1955).
During the next year General Pinkston was director of operations and training for the Continental Air Defense Command at Colorado Springs, Colo. Later that year (1956) he was assigned to command the Boston Air Defense Sector, Stewart Air Force Base, N.Y. He remained in this position until Dec. 1, 1958 when he assumed the duties of deputy for operations, Headquarters Eastern Air Defense Force, Stewart Air Force Base, N.Y.
General Pinkston assumed command of the Montgomery Air Defense Sector, Gunter Air Force Base, Ala., Aug. 6, 1959, with additional duty as commander North American Air Defense Command (Continental Air Defense Command) Montgomery ADC, until Aug. 9, 1962, when he became commander of Air Task Force 13, Provisional and chief, Air Force Section, Military Assistance Advisory Group, Republic of China.
The general's decorations include the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and the second-highest British award -- the British Distinguished Service Order, the French Croix de Guerre and the Polish Cross of Valor.