Retired Feb. 1, 1969.
Brigadier General Henry C. Newcomer, a native of Abington, Pa., is a 1939 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. His early career centered around assignments as a combat engineer with the 4th and 77th Divisions where he served as a battalion commander and ultimately as division troop commander.
He completed flight training at the Army Air Force Southeast Training Center in June 1943. At the time he won his wings, he held the rank of major.
During the Second World War, he flew combat in the European Theater of Operations, logging 291 combat hours on 84 missions in the Martin B-26 "Marauder", a light bomber. He participated in the Air Offensive Europe, Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland, and Central European campaigns, winning the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 15 oak leaf clusters, and the Presidential Unit Citation.
Pentagon assignments and activities in the atomic energy field are hallmarks of General Newcomer's postwar days. From 1945-1948, he was on the staff of the Personnel Planning Division, Headquarters, Army Air Forces, after which he went back to the classroom, receiving his master's degree in nuclear physics at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1950. The LAADS commander was then assigned to the Development Division, Sandia Air Base, Albuquerque, N.M. Still in Atomic Energy, but back at the Pentagon, he assumed the post of chief, Special Projects, Office of the Assistant for Atomic Energy, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, later transferring to the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Strategic Plans Group, in 1954.
Resuming academic pursuits, General Newcomer attended the National War College in 1957 before embarking for two major assignments in Europe and the Near East. The first of these was to command the 50th Tactical Fighter Wing, Toul Rousieres Air Base, France. From July 1959-July 1961, the 7217th Air Division (TUSLOG) headquartered at Ankara, Turkey, was under Newcomer command. From Turkey, the next move was to Los Angeles and his present assignment.
As commander of the Los Angeles Air Defense Sector, Air Defense Command, and the Los Angeles NORAD Sector, North American Air Defense Command, General Newcomer exerts operational control over the Air Force, Army, and Navy air defense elements charged with defending the Southland from hostile air attack. His headquarters are in a huge computer-oriented Semi-Automatic Ground Environment Direction Center at Norton Air Force Base which correlates and directs operations of fighter interceptor squadrons, land, sea and air radar units throughout the Southern California area, and Army NIKE missile batteries ringing Los Angeles.
General Newcomer is a command pilot with 4,000 hours, a quarter of which is in single engine jet aircraft, primarily the F-100 Super Sabre. In addition, he's a tennis enthusiast with many trophies for victories in service, municipal, and state competition.