Retired Sep. 1, 1966.
William C. Lindley, commandant, Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps, heads the Air Force's largest single source for the procurement of career officers. Working in close partnership with institutions of higher education in all but three of the 50 states, his responsibility begins with the selection of qualified college freshmen for enrollment into the program, includes the conduct of the four-year college level curriculum, and ends with the commissioning of career officers of appropriate quality and adequate quantity to meet officer personnel requirements of the Air Force.
Born in Midway, Texas, in 1917, General Lindley began his military career early, having been a member of the Texas National Guard during his high school years in Huntsville, Texas. He received his bachelor of arts in education from Sam Houston State Teachers College in 1939.
Enlisting as an Aviation Cadet in November of 1940, General Lindley earned both his wings and his second lieutenant commission July 12, 1941 at Brooks Field, San Antonio, Texas.
His first assignment was with the 17th Bomb Group, Pendleton, Ore., where he performed duties as assistant operations and training officer with the 95th Bomb Squadron. He then served as a member of the U.S. Military Mission to Brazil from April 5, 1942 to Jan. 1, 1944. In February 1944, General Lindley returned to the United States and served as supervising instructor for the officer cadre of the 1st Brazilian Pursuit Group at the Air Force Tactical School in Orlando, Fla.
From 1944,to 1946 he was director of flying training at the B-25 Combat Crew Training Station, Greenville, S.C., and squadron commander and group operations officer for the 42nd Bomb Group in the South Pacific. Upon his return he served as air attache to Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic until 1947.
Beginning in 1947, General Lindley commenced his lasting association with the Air Force ROTC program he now heads, by serving for four years as professor of air science and tactics at Western Kentucky State Teachers College, Baylor University, and at East Texas State Teachers College where he received his masters degree in education administration in 1949. In 1950 he was brought to ROTC headquarters and assigned as chief of the Education Division. During the school year 1953-54, he attended the University of Texas under the Institute of Technology program, accomplishing work toward the doctor of education degree.
General Lindley then returned to the cockpit, commanding the 316th Troop Carrier Group in Ashia, Japan, until April 1956 and until May of 1958 he was deputy chief of staff for operations in the 315th Air Division (Combat Cargo) in Japan.
He was selected in July 1958 to attend the Naval War College, Newport, R.I., graduating in July 1959. His next two assignments, as chief, Precommissioning Branch, Professional Educational Division, Deputy Chief of Staff/Personnel, and later as chief of the division, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, brought the general back into the area of prime interest to him - the commissioning and professional education of career officers.
On May 1, 1961, General Lindley returned to Air Force ROTC headquarters where he served first as vice commandant, and on Sept. 11, 1961, moved to the commandant's office which he currently occupies.
In recognition of his achievements and leadership in the Air Force ROTC program an honorary doctor of laws degree was conferred upon General Lindley by Otterbein College, Westerville, Ohio April 26, 1963.
General Lindley has been awarded three Commendation Ribbons, the American Campaign Medal, Brazilian Southern Cross, American Defense Service Medal, Army of Occupation Medal (Japan), Philippine Liberation Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and the Air Force Longevity Service Award with four oak leaf clusters.