Retired Aug. 1, 1977.
Brigadier General Robert F. Titus is the inspector general for the North American Air Defense Command and the U.S. Air Force Aerospace Defense Command, with consolidated headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.
General Titus was born in 1926, in Orange, N.J. He attended secondary schools in Maryland and Virginia, and studied mining engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. He received a master of business administration degree from the University of Chicago in 1961, and graduated from the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program in 1968, and the National War College in 1970.
He served on active duty in enlisted status from January 1945 to August 1946 as a squad leader with the 82d Airborne Division. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force in September 1949.
During the Korean War, General Titus served with fighter-interceptor squadrons of the 18th and 51st Fighter Wings. He flew 101 combat missions in F-51 and F-86 aircraft as a flight commander and assistant operations officer. He was then transferred to Dover Air Force Base, Del., and ferried F-84 and F-86 aircraft to Europe via the arctic route.
In March 1954 he was transferred to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., for test pilot training. He remained at Edwards to participate in the flight test and development of all the century series fighter aircraft through the F-107. During this period, he accomplished the F-100 zero launch tests, representing the U.S. Air Force as a pilot in the North Atlantic Treaty organization fighter trials in France in 1957, and in 1959 flew one of the two F-100s that made the first flight of single-engine jet fighters across the North Pole. For this notable flight he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and nominated for the Mackay Trophy. He also qualified as a test jumper and jump master with the 6511th Parachute Test Group at the Air Force Flight Test Center. He entered Graduate School at the University of Chicago under the Air Force Institute of Technology program in October 1959.
In August 1961 he went to Germany where he served as operations officer of the 53d Tactical Fighter Squadron at Ramstein and Bitburg Air Bases and in February 1963 became an F-105 flight safety officer in the Directorate of Flight Safety, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, at Lindsey Air Station.
General Titus was assigned to Headquarters Tactical Air Command at Langley Air Force Base, Va., from August 1964 until May 1966, as chief, Fighter Operations Branch, in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations.
In May 1966 he went to the Republic of Vietnam where he assumed command of the "Skoshi Tigers," the only F-5 squadron in the U.S. Air Force, at Bien Hoa Air Base. In January 1967 he became commander of the F-4-equipped 389th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Da Nang Air Base. He flew 400 combat missions in North and South Vietnam and destroyed three Mig-21s in aerial combat.
In September 1967 General Titus was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, where he was project officer for the F-15 and chief of Advanced Tactical Systems in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Research and Development. He entered the National War College in August 1969. In June 1970 he went to MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., as vice commander, 15th Tactical Fighter Wing (redesignated as 1st Tactical Fighter Wing) and later became commander.
In May 1971 General Titus was transferred to Okinawa and assumed command of the 18th Tactical Fighter Wing of the Pacific Air Forces at Kadena Air Base and later became commander of the 313th Air Division. He was appointed deputy chief of staff, operations, Air Force Systems Command, with headquarters at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., in August 1973.
General Titus then assumed duty as the U.S. deputy chief of staff, LIVE OAK, with headquarters collocated with Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe at Shape, Belgium, in September 1974.
He moved to NORADADCOM, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., as the assistant deputy chief of staff for plans and requirements (J-5), NORAD, and the assistant deputy chief of staff for plans and requirements, ADCOM. He served in this dual capacity from June 21, 1976, until Feb. 1, 1977, when he became the NORAD/ADCOM inspector general.
General Titus is a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, Order of Daedalians, American Fighter Pilots Association, Red River Valley Fighter pilots Association, and is an honorary member of the American Fighter Aces Association.
His military decorations and awards include the Air Force Cross, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross with three oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 24 oak leaf clusters, and the Air Force Commendation Medal.
General Titus was promoted to the grade of brigadier general Dec. 1, 1972, with date of rank Nov. 29, 1972.