Military Bios

Brigadier General Willum H. Spillers Jr.:

Military Branch:United States Airforce
Retired July 1, 1976.  
Brigadier General Willum H. "Harry" Spillers Jr., is deputy chief of staff, logistics, Headquarters Military Airlift Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill. In this position, he is responsible for logistical support of the MAC worldwide force of more than 950 aircraft and nearly 129,000 personnel (active and reserve forces).
General Spillers was born in 1925, at Macon, Ga. He began his military career in March 1944 when he entered the U.S. Army Air Forces aviation cadet program. However, prior to completing the program, he received an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., where he graduated in June 1949 with a commission as a second lieutenant and a bachelor of science degree. He has a master of science degree in aeronautical engineering from Princeton University, 1955; and is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School, 1956, and the Air War College, 1966.
After graduation from the academy, he completed flight training in 1950 and then attended pilot instructor school. He next served as a flight instructor in the Air Training Command at Vance Air Force Base, Okla.
During the Korean War, from June 1951 to January 1952, he was a B-26 pilot with the 731st and 90th Bombardment Squadrons in Korea and completed 55 night intruder combat missions. He then was transferred to Headquarters Far East Air Forces in Japan, where he served as chief of the Distribution and Records Division.
In July 1953 General Spillers entered Princeton University under the Air Force Institute of Technology program. He next attended the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and after graduating in January 1956, served on the school staff.
General Spillers was assigned to the Military Air Transport Service (forerunner to the Military Airlift Command) at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., from November 1959 to August 1963, as an aeronautical engineer and later as research and development administrator in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. In September 1963 he became operations and engineering officer for the C-141 Category II Joint Test Force at the Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and was the first MATS pilot to fly the C-141. He entered the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in August 1965 and graduated in July 1966.
Next assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Research and Development, General Spillers served as deputy director of general purpose and airlift forces. In this assignment, he was involved in the development of the C-9 and C-5 aircraft.
In August 1968 he was reassigned to Headquarters Military Airlift Command and returned to Edwards Air Force Base as deputy director for the C-5 Category II Joint Test Force.
He became director for the C-5 Category III Joint Test Force at Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., in June 1970. In this position, he headed a team composed of representatives from the Army, Military Airlift Command, Air Force Systems Command and Air Force Logistics Command in evaluating the C-5 aircraft in its operational environment. During this period, he directed and was commander for the first operational C-5 missions to both the Pacific and Atlantic areas.
General Spillers became commander of the 436th Military Airlift Wing at Dover Air Force Base, Del., in August 1972. He assumed duties as vice commander, San Antonio Air Materiel Area (redesignated Air Logistics Center), Kelly Air Force Base, Texas, in June 1973.
In April 1975 General Spillers returned to Military Airlift Command Headquarters, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., to serve as deputy chief of staff for logistics.
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 two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Presidential Unit Citation Emblem, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon, and Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon. He is a command pilot.
He was promoted to the grade of brigadier general effective Sept. 1, 1973, with date of rank Aug. 23, 1973.


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