Retired Sep. 1, 1984.
Brigadier General Paul D. Wagoner is assistant deputy chief of staff for operations, combat operations, for the U.S. Air Force Space Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, with consolidated headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. He is responsible for the operational management of the underground command and control facility located in the Cheyenne Mountain Complex near Colorado Springs, Colo.
General Wagoner was born in 1934, in Rochester, Ind., and graduated from Fulton (Ind.) High School in 1952. He earned a bachelor's degree in economics and business administration from Park College, Kansas City, Mo., in 1972 and a master's degree in management from Webster College, St. Louis, in 1979. He also graduated from Squadron Officer School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in 1961; Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, Va., in 1967; and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C., in 1973.
After entering the Air Force in August 1954, General Wagoner was commissioned and received his pilot wings as a distinguished graduate of the aviation cadet program in December 1955. From 1956 to 1959, he flew F-89 interceptors with the 445th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Mich., and then with the 449th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Ladd Air Force Base, Alaska. In November 1959 he was assigned as aide-de-camp to the commander, 11th Air Division at Ladd Air Force Base. Returning to the United States in October 1960, he flew F-101B's as a flight leader with the 87th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio.
From November 1962 to July 1964, General Wagoner participated in the Air Force-Navy Officer Exchange program flying aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, where he made more than 170 carrier landings in F-4B Phantoms. Upon his return to Air Force duty at Stead Air Force Base, Nev., in July 1964, he served as a fighter-interceptor officer with the Reno Air Defense Sector and then as commander of the 4634th Support Squadron. Following graduation from the Armed Forces Staff College in 1966, he was assigned to Tenth Air Force, Air Defense Command, Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base, Mo., as flight safety officer.
In November 1969 General Wagoner became operations officer of the 559th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 12th Tactical Fighter Wing, Cam Ranh Bay Air Base, Republic of Vietnam. In April 1970 he was assigned as deputy chief, Tactical Air Control Center, Seventh Air Force at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Republic of Vietnam. While assigned with Seventh Air Force, the general flew additional combat missions with the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing at Da Nang Air Base, accumulating a total of 101 combat missions.
General Wagoner returned to the United States in November 1970 as a North American Air Defense Command fighter-interceptor officer at Ent Air Force Base, Colo. He then attended Park College, graduating with honors in December 1972. From May 1973 to November 1974, he was chief, Fighter-Interceptor Division, Headquarters North American Air Defense Command and Headquarters Aerospace Defense Command. In November 1974 he become chief of the Support Division, Inspector General, at Headquarters Aerospace Defense Command.
When he was assigned to the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., in June 1975, General Wagoner served as chief, Strategic Defense Branch, Directorate of Operations, J-3, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. General Wagoner became commander of Air Forces Iceland in July 1978.
In June 1980 he was assigned as commander of the 20th North American Air Defense Command Region and 20th Air Division at Fort Lee Air Force Station, Va., where he was responsible for the air defense of an 18-state area of the Southeastern United States. From March to May 1983, the general commanded the 23rd North American Aerospace Defense Command Region and 23rd Air Division, and implemented the first Regional Operational Control Center for the North American Aerospace Defense Command at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. He assumed his present duties in June 1983.
General Wagoner is a command pilot with more than 5,000 flying hours. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster.
He was promoted to brigadier general Sept. 1, 1980, with date of rank Aug. 3, 1980.
General Wagoner's hometown is Fulton, Ind.