Retired Jan. 31, 1960. Died Feb. 14, 1978.
Lester William Light was born in, Lebanon, Pa., in 1905. He graduated from elementary school in Quincy, Pa.
On Jan. 15, 1926 he enlisted in the l6th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Wadsworth, N.Y. He was transferred in June 1927 to the 5th Observation Squadron, 9th Observation Group, Army Air Corps at Mitchel Field, N.Y., While there he rose to the rank of technical sergeant. On April 9, 1934 he was commissioned a reserve second lieutenant, Ordnance Department, on inactive duty.
During his enlisted service he specialized in aircraft armament. From July 1937 to July 1939 he served with the 72nd Bombardment Squadron at Hickam Field, T.H. He was ordered to active duty as a first lieutenant Jan. 29, 1941 and served as company commander and as base ordnance officer at Hunter Field, Savannah, Ga. He was promoted to captain June 19, 1941 and to major Feb. 3, 1942.
Major Light joined the 12th Air Force Service Command at Fort Dix, N.J. as command ordnance officer on Aug. 30, 1942, going with that organization to England and on the invasion of North Africa. He assumed additional duty as commanding officer of the 1st Ordnance Depot Regiment (Provisional). On Nov. 4, 1942 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel, and Dec. 26, 1943 he received his promotion to colonel. In January 1944 he went to Italy with the l2th Air Force and became chief of the Services Division, Assistant Chief of Staff, General Staff Corps in August 1945.
Colonel Light returned to the United States in December 1945 and was assigned to Headquarters Air Materiel Command, Wright Field, Ohio, performing special project work in vehicle maintenance from January through March 1946. From April through September of that year he commanded specialized depots at Springfield, Ill., Syracuse, N.Y., and inactivated those depots. He served as chief of the Inactivation Office, Headquarters Air Materiel Command and as coordinator with the War Assets Administration from September 1946 to October 1947. On Sept. 26, 1947 be was transferred to the Air Force.
In October 1947 the colonel was assigned as chief of the Equipment Section, Supply and Services Division, Headquarters Air Materiel Command. He had an additional duty as project officer for the monitoring of the integration of the Army Technical Service Supply with Air Force Supply, necessitated by the Air Force becoming a separate department. On Feb. 4, 1949 he was assigned an additional duty as project officer for monitoring the requirements, storage and distribution of the distinctive Air Force blue uniform.
From Aug. 1, 1950 to Sept. 30, 1952 Colonel Light was executive and subsequently deputy chief of Supply and Services Division, Headquarters Air Materiel Command. During the period Dec. 4, 1952 to Oct. 7, 1953 he served as vice commander of the Oklahoma City Air Materiel Area, Air Materiel Command. In October 1953 he was transferred to Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Wiesbaden, Germany, where he served as assistant deputy chief of staff, materiel until July 30, 1954. On that date he became deputy chief of staff, materiel at Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, having been promoted to brigadier general on July 21, 1954. He occupied that position until his reassignment in June 1957 as deputy chief of staff, materiel, Headquarters Military Air Transport Service, Andrews Air Force Base, Md. He moved with the headquarters to Scott Air Force Base, Ill., in January 1958.
During World War II he participated in the Rome-Arno, Tunisian, North Apennines, Sicilian and Naples-Foggia campaigns, General Light's decorations include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star Medal, the Army Commendation Ribbon, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with silver battle star and the Degree of Command, Order of the Crown of Italy.