Brigadier General William A. Orth is dean of faculty at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo.
General Orth was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force in June 1954 after graduation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. He subsequently received a master of science degree in mechanical engineering in 1961 from Purdue University, Lafayette, Ind., and a doctorate in applied Mathematics from Brown University, Providence, R.I., in 1970.
Following his commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, General Orth attended undergraduate pilot training at Bartow Air Base, Fla., and Laredo Air Force Base, Texas. In 1955, he graduated from combat crew training at Perrin Air Force Base, Texas, as an F-86D fighter pilot.
General Orth was assigned as a pilot with the 324th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Westover Air Force Base, Mass., until December 1956, when he was assigned to the 512th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Royal Air Force Station, Bentwaters, England. Later, he was assigned as a pilot at Sembach Air Base, Germany, until May 1959 when he was assigned as an intelligence officer to Headquarters U.S. Air Forces Europe, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, where he remained until December 1959.
From 1960 to May 1961, he was a student at Purdue University, and subsequently an instructor and assistant professor in the Department of Mechanics at the Air Force Academy.
In 1963, he was assigned as a T-33 and T-37 instructor pilot and assistant operations officer at Vance Air Force Base, Okla. He attended the Aerospace Safety Course at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles until December 1964 before becoming chief of wing safety at Vance.
In 1965, General Orth left Vance Air Force Base to attend Brown University. Upon completion of his doctorate, he was assigned to the Air Force Academy as an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics until January 1970.
Through June of 1970, General Orth was an A-37 pilot at England Air Force Base, La. Then he was assigned as chief of wing safety with the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing, Bien Hoa Air Base, Vietnam. He took command of the 8th Special Operations Squadron at Bien Hoa in 1970 and flew more than 250 combat sorties in the A-37 aircraft. Later he became a senior duty officer for 7th Air Force at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Vietnam, until July 1971.
Following his Vietnam tour, General Orth became assistant director of accounting and finance for the Strategic Air Command's Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Comptroller, at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., and in 1972 was assigned as director of engineering and construction under the deputy chief of staff for civil engineering at Offutt.
He became assistant deputy chief of staff for civil engineering at Headquarters Strategic Air Command, in 1973. In August 1974, he was assigned as permanent professor and head, Department of Physics, Air Force Academy.
General Orth became acting dean of faculty at the academy on Aug. 1, 1978. He assumed his current position as permanent dean of faculty on Sept. 1, 1978.
General Orth is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the American Association of Physics Teachers, the American Society of Engineering Education and the Mathematical Association of America. He is also a registered professional engineer in the state of Nebraska.
His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with 10 oak leaf clusters and the Air Force Commendation Medal.
He was promoted to the grade of brigadier general on Sept. 1, 1978, with the same date of rank.