Retired March 31, 1979. Died Jan. 8, 1999.
General John W. Roberts is commander of Air Training Command with headquarters at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. ATC is responsible for recruiting all Air Force personnel and providing them military, technical, flying and professional training and education.
A native of Mankato, Minn., General Roberts has a bachelor of science degree from Mankato State Teachers College and a master's degree from The George Washington University. He is also a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College and the National War College.
General Roberts received his commission and pilot wings through the aviation cadet program in February 1944. His first assignment was as an instructor pilot at Luke Field, Ariz.
Two years later he was reassigned to a fighter wing in Germany. In April 1949, he returned to instructor pilot duties in the Fighter Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. There he won the trophy for top individual scoring in the first Air Force Fighter Weapons Meet. He was next assigned to Korea where he flew combat missions in the F-84 and F-86 aircraft. While in Korea he served as flight commander and squadron operations officer.
In 1954 he received his first of three assignments to Headquarters ATC. His first assignment was as an operations staff officer. In 1957 he commanded the 3529th Combat Crew Training Squadron at Williams Air Force Base, Ariz., and in November of that year returned to Headquarters ATC again as an operations staff officer.
In August 1958 General Roberts served with Headquarters 12th Air Force at Waco, Texas, first as an operations officer and later as chief of the Combat Crew Directorate. He was transferred to Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, in September 1961.
Following graduation from the National War College in 1965, he was assigned to the Pentagon where he was first the assistant chief of the Special Warfare Division, Directorate of Plans and Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force; and in October 1966 chief, Systems Division, Defense Communications Planning Group, at the Naval Observatory.
In October 1967 he became vice commander, 4453rd Combat Crew Training Wing, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., and in December 1968, commander of the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing, Da Nang Air Base, Vietnam. After 10 months at Da Nang he moved to Headquarters Seventh Air Force, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Vietnam, where he was the director of the Tactical Air Control Center.
In August 1970 General Roberts returned to Washington, where he served in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel, as deputy director of personnel planning, and later director, personnel plans. He became the deputy chief of staff, personnel, in October 1973. For his contributions to Air Force personnel resource programs management, he was awarded the 1975 Eugene M. Zuckert Management Award.
He assumed his present position in August 1975.
A command pilot, his decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with seven oak leaf clusters.
General Roberts was promoted to the rank of general on March 29, 1977, with the same date of rank.