Retired June 1, 1982.
Brigadier General William T. Tolbert is special assistant to the deputy commander for operations, Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force, Base, Va.
General Tolbert was born in 1934, in Hollandale, Miss., where he graduated from high school in 1951. He graduated from Mississippi State University in 1955 with a bachelor of science degree in accounting and received his commission through the Reserve Officers' Training Corps program. His service schools include Squadron Officer School and Air War College, both at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces by correspondence.
He entered the U.S. Air Force in July 1955 and completed pilot training in August 1956 at Webb Air Force Base, Texas. He remained at Webb Air Force Base as an Air Training Command instructor pilot until 1960.
From September 1960 to September 1961, he was assigned to the Okinawan Air Defense System as a weapons controller. General Tolbert then joined the Air Defense Command at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., as a flight examiner and wing standardization and evaluation officer with the 3625th Technical Training Wing.
In February 1964 he become aide-de-camp to the commander of the 73rd Air Division, also at Tyndall Air Force Base. The general transferred to Karachi, Pakistan, in April 1964 and served as aide-de-camp to the commander of the Military Assistance Advisory Group in Pakistan until June 1967. He then entered combat crew training in F-4s at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., and subsequently flew 255 combat missions in Southeast Asia.
Following his tour of duty in Southeast Asia, General Tolbert was assigned, in February 1969, as executive assistant to the commander of 4th Air Force at Hamilton Air Force Base, Calif. In August 1969 he was assigned to the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. While there he held several positions including director of training and chief of standardization and evaluation. In October 1972 the general was assigned to the 335th Fighter Squadron, also at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, as squadron operations officer and deployed with the unit on temporary duty in Southeast Asia. He commanded the 335th Fighter Squadron from March 1973 to April 1974.
General Tolbert graduated from the Air War College in July 1975 and was assigned to Tactical Air Command headquarters at Langley Air Force Base as chief, Fighter Programs Division, and later as deputy director of fighter-reconnaissance operations. In December 1977 he became the director of operations, Headquarters 9th Air Force, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C.
He was named commander of the 347th Tactical Fighter Wing at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., in October 1978, and then in August 1979 took command of the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, Hill Air Force Base, Utah. In August 1980 he became commander of the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing at Langley Air Force Base and assumed his present duties in February 1982.
General Tolbert has 5,500 flying hours and has flown numerous aircraft including F-15s and F-16s. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with 17 oak leaf clusters and Air Force Commendation Medal.
He was promoted to brigadier general Sept. 8, 1980, with date of rank Aug. 25, 1980.