Retired Nov. 1, 1974. Died March 20, 2005.
Major General Arthur G. Salisbury is commander of U.S. Air Forces Southern Command at Albrook Air Force Base, Canal Zone.
General Salisbury was born in 1916, in Sedalia, Mo., where he received his high school education. He graduated from the University of Arkansas Law School in 1939. He became an aviation cadet in September 1939, and completed flying school at Brooks Field, Texas, in May 1940, with a commission as second lieutenant. He then was assigned to the 8th Pursuit Group at Langley Field, Va.
During World War II in June 1942, General Salisbury became commander of the 65th Fighter Squadron and was assigned to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. He flew 126 combat missions in support of Field Marshal Montgomery's Eighth Army in its pursuit of Rommel across the Libyan desert and North Africa, and also participated in the invasions of Sicily and Italy.
He became commander of the 57th Fighter Group, also in the Mediterranean Theater, which participated in one of the war's largest air battles. Intercepting the mass air evacuation of Rommel's staff and troops in their attempt to escape from Africa to Italy, the 57th Group downed 76 JU-52 transports and 13 Messerschmitt 109 fighters in 20 minutes. During the campaigns in Egypt, Libya, Sicily and Italy, the 57th Group developed several tactics that were employed throughout the remainder of the war in Europe.
General Salisbury departed Italy for England in January 1944 to assume command of the 84th Fighter Wing, consisting of several P-47, P-51, and P-38 fighter groups. He was one of the first Army Air Forces officers to land on the Normandy Beaches during the invasion.
After returning to the United States in December 1944, he served as commander, Fighter Gunnery School, at Galveston, Texas. In January 1946 he was selected as an instructor for the first class of the Air Command and Staff School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. In September 1949 he became a student at the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base. After graduation in July 1950, he was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., in the Programming Division, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. In August 1954 he returned to England and served successively as deputy commander, 49th Air Division; commander, 20th Fighter Bomber Wing; and chief of staff, Third Air Force.
General Salisbury returned to the United States in July 1958 and was assigned to Air Defense Command. He served first as vice commander of the 29th Air Division, semi-automatic ground environment (SAGE), at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., and in, August 1961 became chief of the Command Control Defense Systems Office at L.G. Hanscom Field, Mass. In May 1962 he became commander of the New York Air Defense Sector and the New York NORAD Sector, McGuire Air Force Base, N.J., and in August 1963 became director of operations, J-3, North American Air Defense Command/Continental Air Command, at Ent Air Force Base, Colo.
He was transferred to Washington, D.C., in October 1964 as chief, Joint Command and Control Requirements Group, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was assigned to Headquarters Air Defense Command, Ent Air Force Base, Colo., in August 1966 and served as deputy chief of staff for plans until November 1967 when he was appointed director, Joint Continental Defense Systems Integration Planning Staff, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
General Salisbury became chief of staff for Aerospace Defense Command in July 1970, He assumed duties as commander of U.S. Air Forces Southern Command at Albrook Air Force Base, Canal Zone, in April 1972.
His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with four oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal, Purple Heart, Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon, Distinguished Flying Cross (Britain), Croix de Guerre with palm (France), and Order of the Red Star (USSR). He is a command pilot and is qualified as a jet pilot.
General Salisbury's hometown is Sedalia, Mo.
He was promoted to the grade of major general effective Nov. 1, 1964, with a date of rank of April 1, 1960.