Retired July 1, 1971. Died April 12, 1992.
Brigadier General Richard Nichols Cordell is assistant chief of staff, communications and electronics, Pacific Command, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii.
General Cordell was born in 1920 in Burley, Idaho. He received his first military training with the Idaho National Guard at Boise, Idaho, in 1937, and attended the University of Idaho and Brigham Young University from 1938 to 1942. In January 1942 he enlisted in the Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet. He completed pilot training in July 1942 at Stockton Army Air Field, Stockton, Calif., and received his pilot wings and commission as second lieutenant.
During World War II in December 1942, he was sent to the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations as a B-24 pilot with the 7th Bombardment Group. In January 1944 he was assigned to the Army Air Corps Gunnery School at Harlingen, Texas, as a B-24 pilot and aircraft maintenance officer. From May 1945 to February 1947, General Cordell served as aircraft maintenance officer at Truax Field, Wis., and Spokane Army Air Field, Wash., and also ferried A-26 aircraft from Hobbs Field, N.M.
From May 1947 to August 1949 he flew F-51 aircraft with the 8th Fighter Wing at Itazuke Air Base, Japan. In November 1949 he was assigned to the Ground Electronics School at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., graduating in September 1950. His next assignment was as operations officer and later commander of the 1907th Airways and Air Communications Service Squadron at March Air Force Base, Calif.
General Cordell was transferred to the Pacific Area for the third time in June 1952 and assigned to the 1818th AACS Mobile Communications Group in Korea as executive officer and later was deputy commander and in June 1953 was transferred to the 1808th AACS Wing Headquarters at Tokyo, Japan, where he served as executive officer, deputy commander, and director of plans and requirements. During that tour of duty he was responsible for providing communications and air traffic control facilities for atomic test forces in the Eniwetok-Kwajalein area.
He graduated from Air Command and Staff School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in June 1957 and was transferred to Washington, D.C., as chief of the Terminal Aid Section, Navigational Air Branch, Division of Communications Electronics, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. In February 1959 he moved to the Electronics Division of the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and worked on International Civil Aviation Organization adoption of tactical air navigation compatible distance measuring equipment and very high frequency, omnirange.
In July 1961 he became director of engineering at Ground Electronics Engineering Installations Agency Headquarters at Griffiss Air Force Base, N.Y., and in December 1962 assumed duties as director of installations and materials. He was assigned in July 1964 as commander of the European GEEIA Region with headquarters at Wiesbaden Air Base, Germany, and in May 1967 returned to Griffiss Air Force Base, N.Y., as Deputy Commander, GEEIA.
General Cordell assumed the position of assistant chief of staff, communications and electronics, Pacific Command, in August 1968.
His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal, and Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon. He is a command pilot.
He was promoted to the temporary grade of brigadier general effective Aug. 1, 1968, with date of rank June 22, 1968.