Retired March 1, 1969.
Lewis Wilson Stocking was born in Rockford, Ill., in 1918. He graduated from Rockford High School in 1935 and entered the U.S. Military Academy in July of that year. He graduated with a bachelor of science degree in 1939, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
Lieutenant Stocking's first assignment was to flying training, from which he graduated and received his wings, at Kelly Field, Texas in 1940. He is currently rated a command pilot and, more recently, has been combat ready in F-89, F-102, and F-101 fighter interceptors.
Immediately following graduation from flying school, Lieutenant Stocking was assigned to Randolph Field, Texas as a flight instructor. Subsequently, at the outset of World War II, he was commander of the Air Corps Primary Flying School at Bonham, Texas.
In 1943, Major Stocking assumed command of the 642nd Bomb Squadron in the 409th Light Bomb Group, flying A-20 attack bombers. His squadron was transferred, in early 1944, to England where he participated in the pre-invasion and D-Day strikes against the Nazi defenses in Europe. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and assigned as deputy group commander shortly before his group moved to France in July 1944. Following the end of hostilities in Europe, his group was returned to the United States and inactivated.
After a tour as air adviser with Air National Guard fighter and light bomb groups in Indiana and Illinois, Colonel Stocking was assigned to the American Mission for Aid to Turkey in February 1948. Later that year, he was named commander of the Pilot Training Group at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. From this assignment, he moved to Headquarters Air Training Command as director of flying training.
When the Flying Training Air Force was activated in 1951, Colonel Stocking was named deputy chief of staff, operations of that organization. Subsequently, he commanded the Pilot Training Group at Pinecastle Air Force Base, Fla., charged with training jet instructors.
From August 1952 until June 1953, Colonel Stocking attended the Air War College at Maxwell Air Forge Base. Following graduation, he was assigned as deputy chief of staff personnel, MATS, which position he held until June 1956.
From July 1956 to June 1958, he served as deputy commander, 11th Air Division (Defense) at Ladd Air Force Base, Alaska. In January 1959, he was assigned as vice commander, 34th Air Division (Defense), Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. Later that year, he was named commander, 34th Air Division. This organization was subsequently redesignated Albuquerque Air Defense Sector. Colonel Stocking assumed command of the Grand Forks Air Defense Sector, Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., in September 1960 and was promoted to brigadier general in January 1962.