Retired Dec. 1, 1980. Died May 6, 1987.
Brigadier General John H. Bennett is commander of the 24th North American Air Defense Command Region and Air Division, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.
General Bennett was born in Greeley, Colo., in 1929. After graduation from Greeley High School, he attended the University of Colorado. He received a bachelor of science degree from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., and later earned a master's degree in international relations. He is also a graduate of Squadron Officer School and Air Command and Staff College, both located at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., and the National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
General Bennett joined the Air Force in September 1950 and entered pilot training as an aviation cadet. He graduated in October 1951 and was commissioned a second lieutenant.
Piloting the F-84, General Bennett flew 100 combat missions over Korea from January through December 1952. He was then assigned to the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing at Chaumont Air Base, France. While in Europe he flew left wing on the Skyblazers Demonstration Team for three years.
In January 1956 he was assigned to Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., as a weapons officer. Leaving Nellis temporarily from September to December 1958, he attended Squadron Officer School. In June 1959 General Bennett was assigned to Headquarters Twelfth Air Force, Waco, Texas, as chief, Tactical Support Branch, Operations and Training.
General Bennett flew F-8s as an exchange officer with the Navy from February 1961 until September 1963. He then entered the Air Command and Staff College. After graduation in June 1964, General Bennett was assigned to the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing at George Air Force Base, Calif. From August to December 1965, he was stationed in Southeast Asia with the squadron and flew 60 missions in the F-4C.
After returning to the United States, he became chief of training and development for the 479th Tactical Fighter Wing at George Air Force Base.
General Bennett entered the National War College in August 1967. Following his graduation he was assigned to the 435th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, as operations officer. He assumed command of the 433rd Tactical Fighter Squadron in April 1969. While at Ubon he flew 180 combat missions.
In February 1973 he became commander of the 27th Tactical Fighter Wing at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., which is the only F-111D-equipped unit in the world. He served in that capacity until August 1975.
General Bennett was appointed inspector general for Tactical Air Command at Langley Air Force Base, Va., in August 1975, and in October 1976 he became the assistant deputy chief of staff, operations, for operations and training for the command. In July 1977 he assumed command of the Kaiserslautern military community, the largest military community outside the United States. He was also commander of the 86th Tactical Fighter Wing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. In August 1979 he was assigned to Malmstrom Air Force Base as commander of the 24th Region.
His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross with three oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with 17 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award ribbon and Combat Readiness Medal.
He was promoted to brigadier general Aug. 1, 1975, with date of rank July 3, 1975.