Retired Sep. 1, 1975.
Brigadier General Walter P. Paluch, Jr., is commander of the 314th Air Division (PACAF), with headquarters at Osan Air Base in the Republic of Korea.
General Paluch was born in Chicago, Ill., where he graduated from Pullman Technical High School in 1944. He attended the University of Wisconsin and Baylor University, and is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College and the National War College. He entered the Army Reserve in July 1944, was ordered to active military duty as a sergeant in the Army Air Corps in July 1945, and served two years in Germany. He completed advanced pilot training and was commissioned a second lieutenant in September 1949.
From October 1949 to October 1953, he served as a flight instructor at Connally Air Force Base, Texas, and then at Craig Air Force Base, Ala. During 1954 he served an eight-month tour of duty in Korea as a fighter pilot with the 430th Fighter Bomber Squadron.
In December 1954 he returned to the United States with the 430th Fighter Bomber Squadron and went to Clovis Air Force Base (later renamed Cannon), N.M., where he held the positions of squadron operations officer, squadron commander, and later operations staff officer for the 474th Fighter Bombardment Wing. During this tour of duty, he was sent on temporary duty to Toul-Rosiere Air Base, France, from April to October 1956. In September 1960 he entered the Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
General Paluch went overseas in July 1961 as operations officer with the 55th Tactical Fighter Squadron and later became chief, Tactical Operations Division, 20th Tactical Fighter Wing at Royal Air Force Station, Wethersfield, England. He was appointed commander of the 55th Tactical Fighter Squadron in June 1963.
General Paluch returned to the United States in August 1964 and was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force in Washington, D.C., in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations, as an operations staff officer, became executive officer to the deputy director for forces, and later was assistant executive officer for the director of operations. In August 1967 he became a student at the National War College, in Washington, D.C. He graduated in June 1968 and was assigned as assistant director of operations, 4531st Tactical Fighter Wing, Homestead Air Force Base, Fla.
In April 1969 he went to Southeast Asia as assistant deputy commander and later was deputy commander for operations for the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing at Da Nang Airfield, Republic of Vietnam. He flew 27 out-of-country missions and 161 in-country missions for a total of 262 combat flying hours.
He returned to the United States in April 1970 and became commander, 4th Tactical Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. In February 1971 General Paluch was appointed deputy chief of staff for requirements, Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va. He became vice commander of the Twelfth Air Force with headquarters at Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas, in October 1973.
He assumed command of the 314th Air Division at Osan Air Base, Korea, in July 1974. In addition to filling the role of division commander, General Paluch also serves as commander, Korean Air Defense Sector; commander Air Forces Korea; and as Air Force adviser to the senior member, United Nations Military Armistice Commission.
His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 12 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon. He is a command pilot.
He was promoted to the grade of brigadier general effective March 1, 1972, with date of rank Feb. 23, 1972.