Retired July 1, 1970. Died June 22, 1992.
Brigadier General William L. Mitchell Jr., is the assistant chief of staff for the North American Air Defense Command/Continental Air Defense Command, with headquarters at Ent Air Force Base, Colo. As assistant chief of staff he aids in supervising and directing the activities of the staff at the headquarters of the United States-Canadian command.
General Mitchell was born in Ruston, La., in 1915. He attended schools in Louisiana and graduated from Louisiana Polytechnic Institute with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering. In 1937 he received an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and in 1941 graduated with a commission as a second lieutenant. He entered primary pilot training at Tulsa, Okla., and completed basic and advanced pilot training at Randolph and Foster fields, Texas.
During World War II, he commanded a fighter squadron, first in Florida and later in the Aleutians. He flew a number of combat missions over the Aleutians in P-40 aircraft, and also saw combat over Japan in B-24 bombers while attached to a unit stationed on Shemya Island.
After World War II, General Mitchell returned to the U.S. Military Academy where he served as an instructor for two years. His next assignment was as commander of the 55th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., and in 1950 he went with the squadron to England.
During the Korean War, General Mitchell was assigned in May 1951 as commander of the 49th Fighter-Bomber Group at Taegu Air Base in the Republic of Korea, and later was assigned to Headquarters Fifth Air Force, as chief of combat operations. During his 14 months in Korea he flew the F-84E jet aircraft on 67 combat missions providing close support for ground units and interdiction raids as far north in Korea as the Yalu River.
In September 1952 General Mitchell was assigned to Tactical Air Command headquarters at Langley Air Force Base, Va., where he was assistant deputy chief of staff for plans. He held this post until August 1954 when he was selected to attend the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
In July 1955 he was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, and during this tour of duty, he served as deputy chief and acting chief of the Tactical Air Division, Directorate of Requirements. In June 1958 he returned to Tactical Air Command Headquarters at Langley Air Force Base, where he was assigned as director of requirements. In June 1960, General Mitchell assumed command of the 474th Tactical Fighter Wing, equipped with F-100 aircraft, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M.
In August 1962 he was ordered to the Republic of Vietnam where he served as deputy chief of staff for operations with the U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. In August 1963 he went to Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, where he assumed duties as vice commander, 314th Air Division, and in September assumed command of the 314th Air Division/Air Forces Korea.
He reported to the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1965 for duty as deputy director for operations of the National Military Command Center. In June 1966 he was assigned as chief, Western Hemisphere Plans and Programs, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
General Mitchell was assigned to NORAD/CONAD headquarters as director of operations in June 1968 and became assistant chief of staff in February 1969.
His military decorations include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, and Air Medal with oak leaf cluster.