Retired July 1, 1984. Died April 22, 2005.
Brig. Gen. Marion F. "Frank" Tidwell is deputy director, logistics and security assistance, J4/7, Headquarters U.S. European Command, Vaihingen, Germany.
General Tidwell was born in 1932, in Alexander, Texas. He graduated from Valley High School, Menlo, Wash., in 1950 and attended Pacific Lutheran College, Tacoma, Wash., until 1953. In 1964 he graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from Pacific Lutheran University under the Air Force Bootstrap program. General Tidwell is a graduate of Squadron Officer School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.; Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.; and Naval War College at Newport, R.I.
Entering the Air Force in January 1954, he earned his commission and navigator wings as a distinguished graduate of the aviation cadet program at Harlingen Air Force Base, Texas, in February 1955. The general attended Aircraft Performance Officer School at Mather Air Force Base, Calif., graduating in October 1955.
His first operational assignment was with Strategic Air Command's 31st Bombardment Squadron at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., as a performance engineer in B-36s. After graduation from pilot training at Vance Air Force Base, Okla., in June 1959, he flew KC-97s at Westover Air Force Base, Mass. From 1960 to 1966, he was assigned to the 319th Bombardment Wing at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., as a co-pilot and instructor pilot flying KC-135s.
In September 1966 General Tidwell joined the 320th Bombardment Wing at Mather Air Force Base as a standardization evaluator and instructor pilot. In July 1969 he transferred to Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, where he received RF-4C transition training and flew with the 22nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron until September 1970. He transferred to the 12th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, as a pilot and operations officer. During this assignment he flew more than 100 combat missions over Laos, Cambodia, North Vietnam and the Republic of Vietnam.
From September 1971 until July 1974, he served with the 320th Bombardment Wing at Mather Air Force Base and served consecutively as emergency war order plans officer, director of operations and training, and assistant deputy commander for Maintenance. During this tour of duty, he qualified as a B-52 aircraft commander.
After completing the Senior Officers Course at the Naval War College in July 1975 as a distinguished graduate, he was named chief, Logistics Division, Office of the Inspector General, Headquarters SAC, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. In July 1977 he moved to Loring Air Force Base, Maine, as vice commander of the 42nd Bombardment Wing, and took command of that wing in August 1978. General Tidwell transferred to K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base, Mich., in June 1979 as commander of the 410th Bombardment Wing. He became vice commander of Sacramento Air Logistics Center at McClellan Air Force Base, Calif., in May 1980. From May 1982 to June 1983, General Tidwell served as deputy director of operations, National Military Command Center, J-3, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C. He assumed his present duties in June 1983.
The general is a command pilot with more than 6,500 flying hours and also holds a navigator aeronautical rating. His military decorations and awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with seven oak leaf clusters and Air Force Commendation Medal.
He was promoted to brigadier general Aug. 1, 1980, with date of rank July 29, 1980.