Retired July 31, 1987.
General Lawrence A. Skantze is commander, Air Force Systems Command, Andrews Air Force Base, Md. He directs the research, development, test and acquisition of aerospace systems for Air Force operational and support commands.
General Skantze was born in 1928, in the Bronx, N.Y. After graduation from Cardinal Hayes High School in 1946, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as a radio operator. In 1948 he received a competitive appointment from the U.S. Atlantic Fleet to the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., and graduated in 1952 with a bachelor of science degree in engineering and a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. He received a master's degree in nuclear engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, in 1959. The general completed Squadron Officer School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., and Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, Va.
He completed his basic pilot training at Marana, Ariz., and advanced training at Reese Air Force Base, Texas, where he received his pilot wings in August 1953. He next entered B-26 combat crew training and in February 1954 was assigned to the 90th Bombardment Squadron at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. In January 1955 he returned to the United States to become aide to the commanding general of 14th Air Force at Robins Air Force Base, Ga. General Skantze entered the Air Force Institute of Technology in August 1957 and graduated in 1959.
His initial research and development assignment was as project engineer with the joint Air Force-Atomic Energy Commission Nuclear Powered Airplane program in Germantown, Md. In August 1961 he was a staff officer assigned to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research and Development at Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. From June 1963 to August 1965, he was assistant executive officer to the under secretary of the Air Force.
Graduating from the Armed Forces Staff College the following year, General Skantze served for three and one-half years as director of system engineering and advanced planning in the Air Force Manned Orbiting Laboratory Program at the Space and Missile Systems Organization in Los Angeles.
From August 1969 to May 1971, he was assigned to Headquarters Air Force Systems Command at Andrews Air Force Base, initially as director of assignments and later as assistant for senior officer management. He then became deputy for the AGM-69A Short-Range Attack Missile at the Aeronautical Systems Division, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
After serving as deputy for the E-3A Airborne Warning and Control System program at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., from June 1973 to June 1977, he returned to Air Force Systems Command headquarters as deputy chief of staff for systems. General Skantze took command of the Aeronautical Systems Division at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in March 1979.
In August 1982 General Skantze was named deputy chief of staff for research, development and acquisition at Air Force headquarters. He was responsible for all U.S. Air Force research, development and acquisition programs. The general was appointed vice chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., in October 1983. He assumed his present command in August 1984.
The general is a command pilot and wears the Senior Missile Badge. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster and Army Commendation Medal.
He was promoted to general Oct. 6, 1983, with same date of rank.