Died Nov. 24, 1988.
Donald Leander Putt was born in Sugarcreek, Ohio on 1905. He graduated from Carnegie Institute of Technology with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering in 1928.
General Putt was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Signal Corps Reserve in May 1928 and a month later was appointed a flying cadet in the Air Corps. After completing his flying training, on June 28, 1929, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Air Reserve, and three months later received his Regular commission. Reporting to Selfridge Field, Mich., from flying training, he was assigned to the 17th Pursuit Squadron. In September 1930 he entered the Air Corps Technical School at Chanute Field, Ill., graduating from the Armament course the following April. He then returned to Selfridge Field and joined the 36th Pursuit Squadron.
Ordered to Wright Field, Ohio in February 1933, General Putt was assigned to the Flying Branch and served as a test pilot until August 1936, when he was assigned to the Air Corps Engineering School. Graduating a year later he then attended the California Institute of Technology, receiving a master of science degree in aeronautical engineering in June 1938. Returning to Wright Field, he served in several engineering positions, including chief of the Experimental Bombardment Aircraft Branch during the development of the B-24, B-29, B-36 and others. From October 1944 to August 1945 he was assigned to U.S. Air Forces in Europe as chief, Technical Services. Returning to Wright Field, Ohio in September 1945, he was named deputy commanding general for Intelligence of the Air Technical Service Command. In December 1946 he was reassigned as deputy chief of the Engineering Division.
Appointed director of Research and Development in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Materiel at Air Force headquarters, Washington, D.C., in September 1948, he became assistant deputy chief of staff for Development in April 1951.
Transferred to Air Research and Development Command at Baltimore, Md., in January l952, General Putt was vice commander, ARDC, until he assumed command of ARDC on June 30, 1953.
Returning to Air Force headquarters in April 1954, the general was designated deputy chief of staff for Development, and military director of the Scientific Advisory Board to the chief of staff, U.S. Air Force.
His decorations include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star with oak leaf cluster, and the French Croix de Guerre with palm. He is rated a command pilot and technical observer.
On June 15, 1954 Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, N.Y., awarded him an honorary doctor of engineering degree.
He is a member of the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences; National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics; Society of Navy Architects; National Research Council; Air Force Scientific Advisory Board; and Marine Engineers; as well as Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Tau Beta Pi, Theta Tau, Eta Kappa Nu, Sigma Xi, and Scabbard and Blade.