Retired July 1, 1976.
Brigadier General William W. Gilbert is deputy chief of staff for communications and electronics (J-6) for North American Air Defense Command and Aerospace Defense Command, which are collocated at Ent Air Force Base, Colo. He is adviser to the commander in chief, NORAD, on communications and electronics and electromagnetic warfare matters affecting the command. He also serves as principal technical adviser to the commander in chief, ADCOM, on all ground communications and electronics matters.
General Gilbert was born in Grapeland, Texas, in 1923. He received a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering and was awarded the Mervin E. Gross Award for academic excellence, 1960, from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and a master's degree in business administration from The George Washington University, 1965. He graduated from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, 1965.
He entered active military service in April 1942 as an aviation cadet, receiving his commission as a second lieutenant and pilot wings in May 1943.
In June 1943 General Gilbert was assigned as a test pilot and flight test engineer with the 26tb Sub-Depot, and later the 327th Base Unit, Drew Field, Fla. He was transferred in March 1945 to the 483d Bombardment Group, and later to the 2d Bombardment Group where he served as a B-17 pilot, operations officer, and group engineer officer. He flew bomber missions over Italy and Southern Europe in the Mediterranean Theater of operations. He was released from active duty in July 1946.
Returning to active duty, General Gilbert left for Guam in November 1948 as assistant chief of materiel for the 23d Fighter Wing; in May 1949 he was named commander, 23d Supply Squadron. Later that year he became assistant director of maintenance, 5700th Maintenance and Supply Squadron, Albrook Air Force Base, Canal Zone.
General Gilbert returned to the United States in June 1950 as commander, 3526th Maintenance Squadron, 3525th Pilot Training Wing, Williams Air Force Base, Ariz. From July 1951 to February 1954 he was assigned to the 3520th Flying Training Squadron as operations officer and then as commander. He next was assigned as assistant deputy chief of staff, programs, at Headquarters Crew Training Air Force, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. In August 1955 he was selected as Air Force liaison officer to the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md.
From August 1958 to September 1960, General Gilbert was a student at the Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He was assigned in October 1960 to Headquarters Electronic Systems Division, L.G. Hanscom Field, Mass., in the Directorate of Plans and Policy. In January 1962 he became deputy systems program director for the 481L and 412L programs.
After attending the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and receiving his master's degree at The George Washington University, General Gilbert was assigned in August 1965 to Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the Directorate of Operational Requirements and Development Plans, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Research and Development. In August 1967 he was assigned as a research associate to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, London, England.
General Gilbert returned to the United States in July 1968 as director of analysis, Deputy Chief of Staff for Development Plans, Headquarters Air Force Systems Command, Andrews Air Force Base, Md. He became vice commander of the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., in August 1969.
His next assignment, in August 1971,was as commander, European Communications Area, Lindsey Air Station, Germany, with additional duty as deputy chief of staff, communications-electronics for U.S. Air Forces in Europe. He was appointed vice commander of the Air Force Communications Service with headquarters at Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base, Mo., in July 1974.
In July 1975 General Gilbert became the deputy chief of staff for communications and electronics, North American Air Defense Command and Aerospace Defense Command, his present assignment.
His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, and the Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster. He is a command pilot with more than 4,500 hours flying time in both propeller and jet aircraft.
He was promoted to the grade of brigadier general effective July 1, 1971, with date of rank June 4, 1971.