Retired Aug. 1, 1971. Died Feb. 5, 1990.
General Joseph J. Nazzaro is commander in chief of Pacific Air Forces with headquarters at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. PACAF is the tactical aerospace arm of the U.S. Air Force in the Central and Western Pacific, the Far East and Southeast Asia. As the air component of the Department of Defense's unified Pacific Command, PACAF is responsible, in conjunction with U.S. allies, for maintaining air superiority throughout the Pacific Command area. PACAF also assists in the training of friendly air forces, including the Vietnamese, in offensive and defensive air tactics and techniques.
General Nazzaro was born in New York, N.Y., in 1913. He attended high school in New York, Millard Preparatory School in Washington, D.C., and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1936 with a commission as second lieutenant in the Infantry. After graduation from advanced flying school at Kelly Field, Texas in October 1937, he was transferred to the Army Air Corps.
He then served in the Philippine Islands and from 1940 to 1942, General Nazzaro held assignments with the 7th Bombardment Group, Salt Lake City, Utah; 39th Bombardment Group, Geiger Field, Wash., and commanded the 302nd Bombardment Group, Tucson, Ariz.
Early in 1943, General Nazzaro was named commander of the 381st Bombardment Group, Pyote, Texas, and led the unit to England in May where it joined the Eighth Air Force. In January 1944, he became deputy director of operations, U.S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe.
In August 1944, General Nazzaro returned to the United States and was assigned as deputy commander, 316th Bombardment Wing, Colorado Springs, Colo. The wing was moved to Okinawa in December 1945, at which time he assumed command.
In May 1946, he became chief of the Operations Division, Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Bolling Field, Washington, D.C. Following graduation from the Air Command and Staff School at Maxwell Field, Ala., General Nazzaro became an instructor at the school, a position he held until December 1948. He then returned to Washington, D.C., for duty in the War Plans Division, Directorate of Plans, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.
In August 1952, General Nazzaro moved to Lake Charles Air Force Base, La., to take command of the 68th Bombardment Wing. A year later he was named commander of the 38th Air Division, Hunter Air Force Base, Ga.
In June 1955, General Nazzaro was appointed commander of Strategic Air Command's 15th Air Division in Morocco. He returned to the United States in July 1957 and was assigned to U.S. Air Force Headquarters as director of personnel planning.
In July 1959, General Nazzaro was named deputy commander, Fifteenth Air Force, March Air Force Base, Calif., and in October 1962, he became commander of the Eighth Air Force, Westover Air Force Base, Mass.
In December 1964, General Nazzaro became vice commander in chief of Strategic Air Command, and in February 1967, he was appointed commander in chief. He assumed duties as commander in chief of Pacific Air Forces with headquarters at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, in August 1968.
He is a command pilot, combat observer and aircraft observer. His military decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Silver Star, Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with oak leaf cluster.