Retired July 1, 1986.
Brigadier General William B. Webb is deputy director of the Defense Mapping Agency, Washington, D.C.
General Webb was born in 1935, in Chicago. He soon moved to Charleston, Mo., where he graduated from high school in 1953. Immediately thereafter he entered the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., and graduated in 1957. He earned a master of science degree in international affairs from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., and is a graduate of Squadron Officer School and Air Command and Staff College, both located at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.; National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.; and the National Interdepartmental Seminar, and the Department of State Chinese Language and China Area Studies Program.
Following his graduation from West Point, General Webb was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and was sent to Bartow Air Base, Fla., for primary pilot training. He completed basic flying training at Vance Air Force Base, Okla., and received his wings in October 1958.
Assigned to the Strategic Air Command, his next seven years of duty involved KC-135 tanker operations at Walker Air Force Base, N.M.; Castle Air Force Base, Calif.; and Kincheloe Air Force Base, Mich. During that period he participated extensively in air operations in Europe and Asia, and in 1965 served as operations officer for a combined deployment of tankers and fighters from New Mexico to Southeast Asia.
From August 1966 to June 1967, General Webb attended Air Command and Staff College. He was then assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency, Washington, D.C., as an action officer responsible for the operational interface between attache offices in six European countries. This assignment was followed in August 1968 by duty as the assistant air attache to Ethiopia. In July 1970 the general transferred from Ethiopia to the Republic of Vietnam where he served as plans adviser to the Vietnamese air force's 5th Air Division at Tan Son Nhut Air Base. While there he flew 130 combat hours with the Vietnamese air force in psychological warfare and gunship operations.
Returning to the United States in July 1971, General Webb entered the National War College. During his studies he participated in The George Washington University's master's degree program and graduated from both institutions the following year. From July 1972 until August 1974, the general was assigned to the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, J-5, as a plans and action officer responsible for short-range military strategy considerations. He was also the prime action officer for the Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan and other strategy papers.
Upon his selection for attache duty, General Webb underwent intensive training including two years of Mandarin language in Washington, D.C., and Taiwan, and courses at the Defense Intelligence School and the Foreign Affairs Interdepartmental Seminar. Upon completion of his studies in July 1976, he was named United States air liaison officer to Hong Kong. He served there for more than three years before returning to the United States to prepare for his assignment to the People's Republic of China. General Webb became the United States air attache to the People's Republic of China in August 1979 and in August 1980 he assumed the additional responsibility as defense attache. He assumed his present duties in October 1982.
The general is a command pilot with more than 3,000 flying hours. His military decorations and awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with oak leaf cluster, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm and Republic of Vietnam Air Service Medal 1st Class.
He was promoted to brigadier general July 1, 1981, with date of rank June 21, 1981.