Died Oct. 31, 1983.
Joseph Arthur Bulger was born in 1904, in Pittsfield, Mass.; and graduated from high school there. After attending Holy Cross College for two years, he entered the U.S. Military Academy, graduated June 9, 1928, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Coast Artillery Corps.
Entering Primary Flying School at Brooks Field, Texas, that September, General Bulger graduated from the Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, Texas, in June 1929. Transferred to the Air Corps on Nov. 21, 1929, he was assigned to the 15th Observation Squadron at Selfridge Field, Mich., and later Scott Field, Ill. He entered the Air Corps Technical School at Chanute Field, Ill., in September 1932, and graduated the following June.
General Bulger joined the 80th Service Squadron at Albrook Field, Panama Canal Zone, in September 1933, and was later assigned to the 16th Pursuit Group there. Assigned to Langley Field, Va., in September 1932, he served successively with the 32nd Pursuit Squadron, Eighth Pursuit Group, 32nd Pursuit Group, and 23rd Pursuit Squadron. Appointed base operations officer at Mitchel Field, N.Y., in January 1941, he attended the Air Defense School from April to June of that year, and returned to Mitchel Field as executive officer of the First Fighter Command. In January 1943, he assumed command of the San Diego Air Defense Wing, Calif.
Reassigned to the Panama Canal Zone in October 1943, General Bulger became assistant chief of staff for operation of the Sixth Air Force at Albrook Field. Moving to Quarry Heights the following January, he was named assistant chief of the Special Staff of the Joint Command Post, and in March 1944, was appointed chief of the Joint Staff there. Entering the Army and Navy Staff College in January 1945, he graduated the following June.
Transferred to General Headquarters of the U.S. Army Forces in the Pacific, General Bulger was appointed executive officer of the Troop Control Division. He was named assistant to the commanding general of the Pacific Air Command, with headquarters at Manila, Philippine Islands, in January 1946, and the following month assumed additional duty as executive officer of that command. In May 1945, he became chief of the Plans and Statistics Division of that command; and in January 1947 was designated chief of staff of the Far East Air Materiel Command at Manila. He assumed command of the Fourth Air Depot at Nichols Field, Philippine Islands, in March 1947.
That June General Bulger was assigned to Air Force headquarters as a staff planner in the Strategy Branch, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. He was appointed deputy to the air inspector there in April 1948, and that October became inspector general of the Second Region, with headquarters at the San Bernardino Air Depot, Calif.
Named vice commander of the First Air Force at Mitchel Air Force Base, N.Y., in March 1950, General Bulger was acting commanding general from September 1951 to February l952, and then resumed his former position as vice commander. He became deputy for personnel of the Continental Air Command at Mitchel in November 1932.
Early in September 1954, General Bulger joined the U.S. Air Forces in Europe at Wiesbaden, Germany as assistant chief of staff for personnel.
General Bulger has been awarded the Legion of Merit, and is rated a command pilot, combat observer and aircraft observer.