Retired Jan. 1, 1970. Died May 17, 1999.
Brigadier General Richard C. Neeley is commander, 821st Strategic Aerospace Division with headquarters at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.
Richard C. Neeley was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1919. He attended high school in Salt Lake City and graduated from Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif., with a bachelor of arts degree in economics in 1939.
General Neeley received his pilot wings and commission through the U.S. Army Air Corps' aviation cadet program in 1940 and for the next three years he filled various posts in the flying training program in Texas, California, Florida and New Mexico.
In May 1943 the general became chief of advanced and transitional flying schools in the Western Flying Training Command, a position he held until 1945.
Early in 1945 the general was reassigned to Headquarters Tactical Air Force, Tenth Army, where he served as a member of the joint staff. During this assignment, General Neeley flew several combat missions in an Okinawa-based U.S. Marine Corps Corsair. Following World II he served at Headquarters Air Mid-Pacific and Seventh Air Force at Hickam Field, near Honolulu, Hawaii.
General Neeley returned to the United States in 1947 to duties with the Air Training Command where he remained until 1950. From Dec. 10 until late 1951, the general participated in Project WIBAC, which involved the operational suitability testing of the Strategic Air Command's first a1l-jet bomber, the B-47. During this test period he flew the first jet aircraft over the North Pole.
In January 1952 General Neeley was named deputy chief of staff, operations, at Headquarters Crew Training Air Force, Randolph Air Force Base Texas, and in June 1953 he entered the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. Following graduation from the Air War College he became deputy commander of the 340th Bomb Wing, Sedalia Air Force Base (now Whiteman), Mo.
In March 1957 the general became director of operations for the Eighth Air Force, Westover Air Force Base Mass., and in April 1960 he was named commander of SAC's 4137th Strategic Wing, Robins Air Force Base, Ga. Under his command, the 4137th Strategic Wing captured top honors during the 1961 Annual SAC Bombing, Navigation and Air Refueling Competition held at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash.
General Neeley assumed command of the 6th Air Division, Dow Air Force Base, Maine, in July 1962 and in August 1964 he was named Strategic Air Command inspector general at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.
His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem and navy presidential Unit Citation Emblem. He is a command pilot.