Retired July 31, 1969. Died Nov. 16, 1998.
General Raymond Judson Reeves is commander in chief, North American Air Defense Command, an international command consisting of United States and Canadian air defense forces. It has the aerospace defense responsibility for the entire North American Continent. The general also serves as commander in chief of the Continental Air Defense Command, the American portion of NORAD.
General Reeves was born in Chattanooga, Tenn., in 1909. He moved to Washington, D.C., at an early age where he attended grammar and high school. After two years at the University of Maryland he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. He graduated and was commissioned a second lieutenant in June 1934.
He entered flying training the same year and received his pilot wings in October 1935 at Kelly Field, Texas. In February 1936 he was assigned to the 3rd Pursuit Squadron at Clark Field, Philippine Islands. Two and a half years later he returned to the United States and was assigned to the Air Corps Technical School at Lowry Field, Colo.
At the beginning of World War II, he was assigned as director of training, Army Air Forces Technical School, Gulfport Field, Miss. Later General Reeves served as director of training, then commanding officer of the Army Air Forces Technical School at Yale University. Under his command, the school graduated more than 14,000 officers specifically trained in aircraft maintenance, engineering, air and ground communications, aircraft armament and aerial intelligence photography.
In 1945 he was assigned to the Far East Command as chief of the Redeployment Section, later becoming assistant chief of Air Staff for Supply. During his Far East Air Forces tour of duty he also served as deputy commanding officer, 13th Fighter Command; chief of staff, 85th Fighter Wing; and as commander, Fort William McKinley.
Following duty assignments at U.S. Air Force Headquarters in Washington, D.C., General Reeves was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Wiesbaden, Germany, as assistant chief of staff for personnel. During this time USAFE was helping to reinforce the North Atlantic Treaty Organization through a buildup of U.S. Air Force units in Europe. He was responsible for manning combat and support units, as well as for personnel policies for a command of more than 100,000 people in more than 15 countries of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
Returning to U.S. Air Force headquarters in 1954, he was assigned as director of military personnel under the deputy chief of staff, personnel. In July 1959 he became vice commander of the Military Air Transport Service with headquarters at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., and in August 1963 he became commander in chief, Alaskan Command with additional duty as commander, Alaskan NORAD Region.
In August 1966 General Reeves was appointed commander in chief of NORAD/CONAD, with headquarters at Ent Air Force Base, Colo.
His military decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster and Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon with oak leaf cluster.