Retired June 28, 1963. Died Oct. 15, 1984.
Milton F. Summerfelt was born in Benton Harbor, Mich., in 1908. He attended Western Michigan State College and Northwestern University. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1933. While at West Point he was captain of the football team and was rated all American in 1932.
After completing primary and advanced flying training, he was assigned to Luke Field, Honolulu, for a two-year tour of duty. His next assignment was at Mitchel Field, Long Island, after which he was transferred to the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.
In August 1942 he was assigned to Headquarters, Army Air Force, Washington, D.C., where he held assignments in Bombardment Operations and Requirements until 1944, During this period he served temporarily in the China-Burma-India theater.
His next assignment was as commanding officer of the 333d Bomb Group, made up of B-29s. The organization was transferred to Okinawa in 1945. In October he returned to this country to attend the first command class of senior officers at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. After completing the course he returned to Okinawa for duty as operations officer with the 316th Bomb Wing.
In October 1946 General Summerfelt was reassigned to the Operations Division, War Department General Staff Policy Branch, in Washington. He remained there until September 1947, at which time he was assigned to the assistant for Atomic Energy Office, deputy chief of staff for operations, working on training and requirements until August 1949.
From then until June 1950 he was a student officer at the National War College after which he was assigned to the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Strategic Plans Group, where he was a senior team member of the Policy, Training and Organizational Section.
In June 1952 the General was transferred to Rome Air Force Depot as commander. His next assignment was to the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Powers in Europe in January 1955, where his duty was deputy chief of the Advance Planning Group, U.S. European Command, with Headquarters in Bonn, Germany.
On Jan. 17, 1936, General Summerfelt was appointed deputy chief of the Military Assistance Advisory Group in Germany. In April 1958 he was assigned as deputy commander, Sacramento Air Materiel Area.
General Summerfelt's hobbies include inland game hunting and golf, also general outdoor activities including gardening, particularly landscaping.
He enjoys hi-fi music in the classical and semi-classical range, including Montavani, Beethoven, Strauss and Bach.
He takes an active part in local civic organizations, chambers of commerce, Rotary, etc. He often speaks at various functions, such as Boy Scouts, Civil Air Patrol and athletic and business organization dinners. His religion is Protestant.
During General Summerfelt's tour in Europe he acquired a taste for German and Indonesian food.
He likes colorful sport clothes during the day, but prefers to be more formally dressed in the evening.
General Summerfelt's reading includes military his nuclear physics, scientific papers, and geopolitics.
In his preference of art he collects military prints of old warfare.
He enjoys weekend trips and when in Europe enjoyed foreign travel throughout all areas. His preference to climate runs to the four seasons.
He does not like hot weather. He also prefers the mountains to seascapes.
General Summerfelt has very high standards. He believes in thoroughness and demands high performance from all sub-ordinates. He believes in doing more than what is required. He also respects and listens to the opinions of others.
His outstanding characteristics are sincerity, honesty and the ability to get along with others. He is highly respected and liked by all associates, including foreign officers and dignitaries he has worked with.