Retired Oct. 1, 1972. Died April 9, 1999.
Brigadier General Wiltz P. Segura is the U.S. deputy chief of staff, Live Oak in Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Belgium.
General Segura was born in 1921 in New Iberia, La., where he graduated from New Iberia High School in January 1940 and attended Louisiana State University and the University of Southwestern Louisiana prior to entering the Army Air Corps in 1942 as an aviation cadet. He received his flying training in the Southeastern Training Command and graduated at Craig Field, Ala., with a commission as a second lieutenant in the Army Air Corps and his pilot wings in April 1943. He then attended a three month fighter transition training at Sarasota, Fla.
In August 1943 General Segura was sent to the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations as a P-40 pilot. He joined the famed 23d Fighter Group of the 14th Air Force which had been organized with members of the American Volunteer Group known as Chennault's Flying Tigers. During his World War II tour of duty in China, General Segura flew 102 combat missions, destroyed one Japanese bomber and five fighter aircraft, and was credited with damaging three more. He was shot down twice by ground fire but each time parachuted to safety and successfully evaded enemy capture behind the lines.
General Segura returned to the United States in 1945 and attended the Aircraft Engineering and Maintenance School. In August 1946 he was assigned to the San Antonio Materiel Depot as flight test maintenance officer. In January 1947 he entered the Air Tactical School; after his graduation in April 1947, he served as adjutant and coordinator of operations and organizations, and flight test officer for the 22d Aircraft Repair Squadron at Kelly Field, Texas, and Victorville Army Air Field, Calif. He returned to Kelly Air Force Base, Texas, in August 1948 as personnel officer and adjutant for the 86th Air Depot, and later as commander, 25th Aircraft Repair Squadron. In May 1950 he was assigned to the San Antonio Air Materiel Area and served as chief of the Military Personnel Branch.
In March 1952 General Segura entered the Army Language School at the Presidio of Monterey, Calif., where he studied Spanish. In September 1952 he was sent to South America as an adviser to the Venezuelan air force. He returned to the United States in October 1955 and became commander of the 323d Maintenance and Supply Group, of the 323d Fighter Bomber Wing at Bunker Hill Air Force Base, Ind. In August 1957 he was enrolled in the Royal Canadian Air Force Staff College at Toronto, Canada. After graduation in June 1958, he went to England Air Force Base, La., as director of maintenance, 366th Tactical Fighter Wing and later was chief of maintenance for the 401st Tactical Fighter Wing.
In 1961 he was selected to accompany the commander, Tactical Air Command, as aide-de-camp, and interpreter on Exercise Solidarity, a joint exercise in the Caribbean area to demonstrate to Latin American military leaders the capability of the United States to assist the free world nations in the event of any emergency. In November 1961 General Segura was assigned as commander of the 4520th Maintenance Group at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
In August 1963 he went to Fort McNair, Washington, D.C., to attend the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. While in the Washington area, he attended The George Washington University for graduate work. In June 1964 he was sent to Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va., where he served as director of engineering and maintenance.
In October 1965 he was assigned to England Air Force Base, La., as vice commander of the 3d Tactical Fighter Wing, and retained that position when the wing was transferred in November 1965 to Bien Hoa Air Base, Republic of Vietnam. During an extended absence of the wing commander, he assumed command. General Segura flew more than 125 combat missions in the F-100, and F-5 aircraft, and was the first pilot to check out in the F-5 in the combat theater.
General Segura returned to the United States in January 1967 and assumed command of the newly activated 4531st Tactical Fighter Wing at Homestead Air Force Base, Fla. In October 1970 the wing was redesignated the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing. General Segura assumed duties as the United States Deputy Chief of Staff, Live Oak, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Belgium, in June 1971.
His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with seven oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Purple Heart, Presidential Unit Citation Emblem, Venezuelan Distinguished Flying Cross, Vietnam Campaign Medal, and the Vietnam Honor Medal. He is a command pilot with more than 6,500 hours, and is a veteran of 28 years as a pilot in the Air Force.
He was promoted to the temporary grade of brigadier general effective Dec. 31, 1970, with date of rank Dec. 29, 1970.