Retired Nov. 1, 1966. Died Jan. 23, 1987.
Benjamin Jepson Webster was born in New Haven, Conn., in 1911, and moved with his family to Hawaii in 1914. Appointed to the U.S. Military Academy from Hawaii in 1928, he graduated in the Class of 1932 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Coast Artillery Corps.
Lieutenant Webster's initial assignment was with the 64th Coast Artillery in Hawaii, where he served until entering pilot training at Randolph Field, Texas, in the fall of 1932. He received his pilot wings at Kelly Field in 1933 and today he is rated a command pilot.
After graduation from flying school, Lieutenant Webster returned to Hawaii to serve with the 6th Pursuit Squadron. In June of 1937 he began a three year tour as a flying instructor at the Advanced Flying School, Kelly Field, Texas. 1940 found Captain Webster serving as a physics instructor at the U.S. Military Academy in which capacity he served until 1942.
During February 1942, Lieutenant Colonel Webster was named Director of Flying and Base Operations Officer at Stewart Field, N.Y. He subsequently served there as director of training until departing for overseas in the fall of 1943.
Upon arrival in the European Theater in December 1943, Colonel Webster was named executive officer of the 67th Fighter Wing, Eighth Air Force. He became acting chief of staff, VIII Fighter Command in August 1944 and two months later assumed command of the VIII Fighter Command.
In June 1945, Colonel Webster returned to the United States and assumed command of Stewart Field N.Y., which he commanded until August 1947 at which time he entered the Air War College, Maxwell Field, Ala. He graduated the following June and was named assistant chief of staff for operations of the 7th Air Division in Hawaii, becoming director of operations and training of the Pacific Air Command there three months later.
Colonel Webster was ordered to Air Force Headquarters, Washington, D.C., in July 1949, and designated deputy director of program standards and cost control in the Office of the Comptroller. He was subsequently named director of management analysis.
After attending the National War College in 1952, Brigadier General Webster was named chief of the Air Force Group, Joint American Military Mission for Aid to Turkey, with duty station in Ankara, Turkey.
On Sept. 1, 1955, he assumed command of the 30th Air Division (Defense) at Willow Run Airport, Mich., and on Jan. 15, 1957 assumed additional duty as commander of the 30th Continental Air Defense Division, also at Willow Run.
In August 1957, Major General Webster was ordered to the Pentagon again, this time to serve as director of programs, Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Programs, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.
In July 1960 General Webster was assigned to Headquarters Air Defense Command Ent Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colo., as deputy chief of staff for operations. The following year on June 8, 1961, he became chief of staff, Air Defense Command.
On Jan. 1, 1964, General Webster assumed command of AIRSOUTH with the rank of lieutenant general.