Retired Dec. 1, 1960. Died Dec. 17, 1977.
Sidney Francis Giffin was born in Boulder, Colo., in 1907. He entered the U.S. Military Academy from the Connecticut National Guard, graduating in 1933 with a commission as second lieutenant in the Coast Artillery Corps.
His first assignment - to the 51st Coast Artillery Corps - took him to Fort Monroe, Va., where he remained until 1936. Then, with the rank of first lieutenant, he joined the 59th Coast Artillery Regiment at Fort Mills on Corregidor, Philippine Islands.
Entering the Coast Artillery School at Fort Monroe as a student in September 1938, Lieutenant Giffin graduated the following June. He then returned to West Point to serve three years as instructor in history at the U.S. Military Academy with a year of post-graduate work at Columbia University in 1940-1941.
Ordered to Army Air Force Headquarters at Washington D.C. in June 1942 (he had then advanced in rank to lieutenant colonel), he served as chief of the Plans and Development Section, Anti-Aircraft and Airdrome Defense Division, in which capacity be spent two months on temporary duty in the European Theater. In January 1943, he became chief of the Airdrome Defense Unit. While in this post, be served five months in the South Pacific Theater and attained the rank of colonel. Appointed executive in the Requirements Division, Office of the Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Operations, Commitments, and Requirements, in January l949 he became deputy chief the following July.
Colonel Giffin's activities during the period June 1942 to October 1944 earned him a Legion of Merit, awarded in 1945.
In June 1945, Colonel Giffin went to the China Theater, where he served successively as secretary to the General Staff, Chief of the Planning Section, and liaison officer to the commander in chief, Pacific, the Seventh Fleet, and the Third Amphibious Corps (Marine).
Returning to Washington, D.C., In December 1945, Colonel Giffin was assigned to the Strategy and Policy Group, Operations Division, of the War Department General Staff, and in June 1946 became a member at the Plans and Policy Group.
Colonel Giffin transferred to the Air Force in 1947. He joined the Policy Division of the Directorate of Plans and Operations at Air Force Headquarters in March 1948, becoming chief of its World Survey Branch that June.
From August 1949 until June 1950, Co1onel Giffin was a student officer in the National War College.
A month later, Colonel Giffin was assigned to Headquarters, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, where be served as director of Manpower Requirements until the following February, when he became chief of the Requirements Division, A-3.
In the late summer of 1952, Colonel Giffin was promoted to the rank of brigadier general and assumed the post of Deputy J-3 for Plans, of the U. S. European Command at Frankfurt, Germany, moving to Paris, France, May 3, 1954.
On Aug. 15, 1954, General Giffin became vice commandant of the Air War College, Air University, at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., where he remained until November 1957, when he assumed his current duties as director of the Office of Armed Forces Information and Education, Department of Defense, Washington, D.C.
Enjoys golf keenly and shoots a creditable game. Currently at Army-Navy Country Club; is a sailing enthusiast, despite a chilling experience when his boat capsized in the Hudson during his West Point days; fond of bird hunting.
A competent writer, published "21 to 35," a booklet on the Draft, in 1948.
Active member of Council on Foreign Relations and participates regularly in its study groups on such subjects of international concern as the NATO alliance, neutralism in Asia, etc., is a member of the Episcopal Church.
OPINIONS, TASTES AND EVALUATIONS
Prefers simple food, informal clothing, and modern design in housing.
Is enormous reader of detective books, westerns, and political science; likes impressionist art.
The West Point motto, "Duty honor, country," sums up pretty well his philosophy of 1ife.
Makes good decisions quickly; penetrates fuzzy reasoning with searching questions; is very direct, but not in an unkind way; encourages others to be clear and direct in formal or official communications; grasps situations readily, even in areas relatively unfamiliar to him; keen sense of humor prompts witty remarks that are sometimes startling; maintains good balance between broad policy and a personal interest in details; paradoxically, expresses strong opinions, yet takes good advice easily and readily.
An excellent and well-informed conversationalist, his friends enjoy his company and his relaxed, friendly manner. His co-workers find him agreeable, cooperative, and tolerant, though a 1ittle impatient with unnecessary formality and red tape. He enjoys life and the company of others.