Retired Sep. 1, 1967. Died June 17, 2001.
Brigadier General Richard T. Kight became the chief of staff, Allied Air Forces Northern Europe July 20, 1961. Allied Air Forces Northern Europe is responsible for the coordination and planning for wartime employment of the Norwegian and Danish air forces in defense of NATO territory.
General Kight began his military career in 1933 when he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He completed flying training as an aviation cadet at Kelly Field, Texas, in 1935 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in October 1936 while on active duty as a flying cadet assigned to the 7th Bomb Group at Hamilton Field, Calif.
General Kight reverted to inactive reserve status in December 1936 and flew for United Air Lines until his recall to active duty at Langley Field, Va., in March 1938, where he served until 1941.
He flew with the overseas wing of the Army Air Corps Ferry Command, Washington, D.C., from late 1941 until 1942. During this period, he served as personal pilot to the late Wendell Wilkie, 1942 presidential aspirant, then on a world goodwill tour for President Roosevelt.
In December 1942, he was transferred to the China-Burma-India wing of the Air Transport Command, where he served as chief of staff and director of operations of the "Hump" operations.
General Kight returned to the United States in February 1944 to take command of Morrison Field, West Palm Beach, Fla. While at Morrison Field, he was personal pilot for Vice President Henry Wallace on a trip through Siberia and China. From 1945 to 1946, he commanded transport operations on Guam.
In 1946, he was assigned as commander of the Air Rescue Service, then located at West Palm Beach, Fla. He held this command until 1952, directing its development and expansion and introducing present day rescue techniques. He personally performed much of the testing of rescue equipment and employment techniques.
His next assignment was to the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. Upon graduation in 1953, he was assigned to Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, as commander of the 1500th Air Base Wing.
In 1954 he transferred to Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, and assumed duties as inspector general for Headquarters Combat Crew Training Air Force. He was named commander of Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., in June 1956, having attended and completed the F-86D All Weather Interceptor Course offered there prior to assuming command.
General Kight, a command pilot qualified to fly both jet and conventional aircraft, transferred to the 34th Air Division, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., in July 1957 as vice commander. He moved up to command the 34th Air Division in July 1958, maintaining his jet proficiency by flying with the Air Defense Fighter Squadrons under his command.
He became vice commander of the Central Air Defense Force, Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base, Mo., in November 1959. In April 1960, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general and transferred to Norton Air Force Base, Calif., to command the Los Angeles Air Defense Sector. He guided the Los Angeles Air Defense Sector through its transition from manual operation to semi-automatic ground environment (SAGE) operation and remained to see it fully operational before departing for his present assi6nment in July 1961.