Retired Feb. 1, 1977. Died May 15, 1981.
Brigadier General William P. Comstock is inspector general for the North American Air Defense Command and the U.S. Air Force Aerospace Defense Command, which are collocated at Ent Air Force Base, Colo.
General Comstock was born in 1918 in Chicago, Ill., and grew up in East Orange, N.J. where he graduated from East Orange High School in 1936. He served in the Merchant Marines until entering Drew University, Madison, N,J., in 1937. In 1939 he entered Rutgers Law School, Newark, N.J., where he was a student until he enlisted in the aviation cadet flying training program in January 1941. At the time of his enlistment, he was a licensed instructor pilot.
He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps in September 1941. He served as a flying instructor at Gunter Field, Ala., and Cochran Field, Ga., and in June 1942 was assigned to Stewart Field, N.Y., as a flying training instructor at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y. During his tour at the academy, he was a flight, squadron and group commander. At the end of his assignment, in November 1945, he was the acting director of flying training.
In February 1946 he entered the inactive reserves as a member of the 74th Photo Reconnaissance Group and actively participated in flying training for the next four years. He also flew from Buffalo, N.Y., as a nonscheduled airline pilot, a charter pilot into the Canadian Bush country, and as a technical and claims supervisor for two aviation insurance groups.
He was recalled to active duty in June 1951 and served as an instructor, Inspector Course, and later as chief, Supply and Maintenance Division at the Air Command and Staff School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. In June 1953 be entered the University of Alabama under the Bootstrap Program and earned a bachelor's degree in political science.
In January 1954 be was assigned to Headquarters Far East Air Forces, where he was the director of inspection. He was assigned to Pacific Air Forces in July 1956 as director of inspection activities, Office of the Inspector General. For the next year he formed and led the Pacific Air Forces Operational Readiness Inspection Team.
General Comstock returned to the United States in August 1957 to attend the Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, Va. Upon graduation in January 1958, he was assigned to Headquarters Air Defense Command, Ent Air Force Base, Colo. He served as Chief, Aircraft and Support Division; Chief, Missile Division; and as deputy director for maintenance. In August 1962 he entered the industrial College of the Armed Forces. Upon graduation in June 1963 he was awarded a master's degree in international relations from The George Washington University.
He became commander of the 327th Fighter Group, Air Defense Command, and base commander of Truax Field, Wis., in July 1963. In September 1965 he was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., as chief, Continental Defense Division, Assistant Chief of Staff for Studies and Analysis. In May 1967 he went to Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., for F-101 transition training.
In June 1967 General Comstock assumed command of the 28th Air Division, Air Defense Command, and the 28th NORAD Region at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. He served in this dual capacity until his assignment as the deputy director of the Alaskan Region of the Federal Aviation Administration, Anchorage, Alaska, in October 1968.
General Comstock was the deputy director of the Joint Continental Defense Systems Integration Planning Staff from June 1971 to May 1973. JSIPS assisted the Joint Chiefs of Staff in planning for the effective integration of defensive systems for the aerospace defense of the continental United States.
He was appointed commander, U.S. Forces, Azores, and commander, 1605th Air Base Wing, at Lajes Field, in July 1973.
General Comstock returned to Ent Air Force Base in January 1975 for duty as assistant deputy chief of staff, programs and requirements for NORAD. He became assistant deputy chief of staff, plans and programs for NORAD and ADCOM in July 1975, and in September 1975 assumed duties as acting deputy chief of staff, plans and programs. General Comstock moved to his present position as inspector general for NORAD/ADCOM April 1, 1976.
He is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. His military flying time is in excess of 6,300 hours plus more than 3,000 hours of civil aviation. He is a command pilot and master missileman, has flown all the century series interceptor aircraft, and is rated expert.
His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation medal with two oak leaf clusters, and the Army Commendation medal with oak leaf cluster.
He was promoted to the grade of brigadier general Aug. 1, 1969, with date of rank June 2, 1969.