Retired Nov. 1, 1976. Died Nov. 2, 1992.
Lieutenant General Richard M. Hoban is commander of the Strategic Air Command's Eighth Air Force, with headquarters at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. General Hoban is responsible for all Strategic Air Command operations and bases in the eastern half of the United States. Eighth Air Force controls B-52, FB-111 and KC-135 aircraft, as well as Titan and Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles. These weapons provide a key element supporting SAC's mission as America's strategic deterrent force.
General Hoban was born in St. Louis, Mo., in 1922. He graduated from Little Rock, Ark., High School in 1940, entering Army Air Corps Aviation Cadet training the same year. The general was commissioned and received his pilot wings in May 1943 at Foster Field, Texas. During World War II he served as a B-17 pilot and instructor. For the next 10 years, he had various assignments as a pilot and staff officer in numerous operational positions throughout the United States.
During the Korean War in 1953, General Hoban flew 28 B-29 combat missions. Upon returning to the United States, he became operations officer and later commander of the B-47 equipped 443d Bombardment Squadron, March Air Force Base, Calif. In 1957 he qualified in B-52s and became commander of the 717th Bombardment Squadron, Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.
General Hoban transferred to Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., in February 1959 and served during this tour of duty as chief, War Games Section; chief, Force Structure Section; and chief, Organization and Control Branch.
In July 1962, he became director of operations, 22d Strategic Aerospace Division, Schilling Air Force Base, Kan. A year later, he transferred with the division to Walker Air Force Base, N.M. In April 1965 he became commander of Walker's 6th Strategic Aerospace Wing.
In June 1965 General Hoban became inspector general, Headquarters Fifteenth Air Force, March Air Force Base, Calif. In June 1966 he was reassigned to Travis Air Force Base, Calif., as commander of the 5th Bombardment Wing and in June 1967 he became commander of the 410th Bombardment Wing at K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base, Mich.
During August 1968 he took command of the 4258th Strategic Wing at U-Tapao Airfield, Thailand, flying 106 combat missions in Southeast Asia. During this tour, he maintained operational control over all B-52 aircraft in Thailand and was responsible for operations of the KC-135 jet tanker task force, supporting both Seventh Air Force fighters and Strategic Air Command B-52 bombers.
General Hoban became vice commander of the San Antonio Air Materiel Area, Kelly Air Force Base, Texas, in August 1969. He took command of the Ogden Air Materiel Area, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, in July 1970 and in March 1973 became vice commander of Air Force Logistics Command, with headquarters at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
In October 1973 General Hoban became commander, Second Air Force, at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., and became Eighth Air Force commander when the command was redesignated in January 1975.
His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit, Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, and Army Commendation Medal. He is a command pilot with 7,700 flying hours.
General Hoban's hometown is Little Rock, Ark.
He was promoted to the grade of lieutenant general effective March 1, 1973, with the same date of rank.