Retired July 1, 1969. Died Jan. 20, 1991.
Brigadier General William A. Hunter is the Supreme Allied Commander Europe representative to the Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff. General Hunter assumed his duties in August 1967. The mission of this office is to coordinate the strategic target plans of Allied Command Europe with those of the other forces of the NATO alliance.
General Hunter was born in Paris, Texas, in 1919. He graduated from Gainsville High School in 1938 and entered North Texas State Teachers College the same year. The general entered the Aviation Cadet Program in September 1941, graduated and was commissioned a second lieutenant at Williams Field, Ariz., in April 1942.
After transition training in B-17s at Sebring Field, Fla., General Hunter was assigned to the 45th Bombardment Squadron at France Field, Canal Zone. From the Canal Zone, he was assigned to the 44th Bomb Squadron in Guatemala flying B-17 and B-24 aircraft on anti-submarine patrol. The general remained in this theater of operation through mid-1943.
In June 1943 the 40th Bomb Group was transferred from the Canal Zone to Pratt Field, Kan. As a pilot and maintenance officer in the 44th Bomb Squadron, General Hunter participated in training and readying the first B-29s for World War II combat. In April 1944, the 40th Bomb Group, as part of Twentieth Air Force, was ordered to India and China where the general, a captain at this time, participated in bombing missions against the Japanese mainland and occupied territories. General Hunter was on the first Yawata mission, the first U.S. strike against the Japanese mainland after the famed Doolittle raid.
General Hunter returned to Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in January 1945 and served as a B-29 instructor until the end of the war. With the end of hostilities, he was transferred to Dayton, Ohio where he applied for and received a regular commission as first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps. The general then attended Texas Christian University under the Air Force Institute of Technology program from 1946 to 1948, graduating with a bachelor's degree in chemistry.
In June 1948 the general participated in the Air Force Academy Planning Board at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. In March 1950 he returned to Washington, D.C., to the Air Force Office of Applied Technology where he served as plans officer.
General Hunter attended the Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in 1953 and then returned to Washington and AFOAT. His assignment during this tour with AFOAT found him as AFOAT-1 executive officer.
From June 1954 to June 1955 General Hunter served as assistant executive to the commander, Special Weapons Center, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. The general's first command position came in June 1955 when he was assigned to the 4930th Group at Eniwetok Pacific Testing Ground. It was during this assignment that he was promoted to colonel. He commanded the 4930th from June 1955 to June 1956.
In June 1956 General Hunter returned to the Special Weapons Center at Kirtland as chief operations officer. In 1957 he became deputy commander of the 4925th Test Group. In June 1958 the general entered the Industrial College of the Armed Forces as a member of the class of '59. Upon graduation he was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, deputy chief of staff, plans and programs, as chief of the arms policy branch. He served in this position until June 1963 when he became chief, aerospace policy division.
General Hunter was assigned to Headquarters U.S. European Command as chief of special weapons branch, logistics division, and served in this assignment until Aug. 1, 1966.
Promoted to brigadier general in August 1966, he was selected that same month as deputy director, military assistance division, Headquarters USEUCOM. In March 1967 he was assigned as special assistant to the deputy commander in chief, USEUCOM and remained in this position until his assignment to Strategic Air Command headquarters.