Retired Oct. 1, 1966. Died June 25, 1997.
Brigadier General Ariel W. Nielsen was assigned as deputy director of the Central Control Group, Policy, Office Of the Joint Chiefs Of Staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, in September 1960.
A native of Ammon, Idaho, he graduated from Stanford University, Calif., in 1940 where he was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Scholastic Fraternity. He is also a graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C.
He was commissioned in the Regular Army in July 1940 and was assigned to the Field Artillery. He entered flying school at Tulsa, Okla., in November 1940, received his pilot's wings at Kelly Field, Texas, in July 1941 and was transferred to the Army Air Corps.
During World War II, he served with the 8th Fighter Command in the United Command and with the 350th Fighter Group in the U.K., North Africa, Mediterranean and Italy. He commanded the 350th from October 1943 until the end of the active war in Europe.
In September 1945, General Nielsen joined the War Department General Staff Training Group and the War Department Legislative Division in Washington, D.C. From December 1945 until July 1947, he was special liaison officer (Manhattan District) at Chalk River, Canada. In July 1947, he became deputy chief of the Development Division of the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project and directly participated in the post-war weapons development until July 1949.
General Nielsen became chief of the Tactical Requirements Branch, Directorate of Operations, Strategic Air Command, in July 1949.
Appointed wing commander of the 28th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 1, 1953, he held this assignment until entering the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in August 1955.
Upon completion of this course, he commanded the 100th Bombardment at Portsmouth, N.H., and subsequently was assigned as commander, 21st Air Division at Forbes Air Force Base, Kan.
General Nielsen has been awarded the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the French Croix de Guerre, Brazilian Order of the Southern Cross, Brazilian Order of Aeronautical Merit and the British Badge of Merit. He is a command pilot. During World War II, he flew 75 combat missions in North Africa, the Mediterranean and Italian theaters.