Retired April 1, 1984.
Major General Bill V. Brown is chief of staff, Allied Air Forces Southern Europe, with headquarters in Naples, Italy.
General Brown was born in Tulsa, Okla., in 1929. He graduated from Gridley (Kan.) High School in 1947 and received a bachelor's degree in social science from Emporia (Kan.) State University in 1952. The general is graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfok, Va., and the Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. He also completed the Kennedy School of Government's International Security Seminar at Harvard University.
He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1950 and received a commission as a second lieutenant following gradation from Officer Candidate School at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, in March 1954. He completed the Air Force Personnel Officer School at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., in August 1954 and was assigned to the 47th Bombardment Wing, Royal Air Force Station Sculthorpe, England. In November 1956 he entered pilot training at Spence Air Force. Base, Ga., and received his wings in February 1958 at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas.
After completing B-47 training at McConnell Air Force Base Kan., in September 1958, was assigned to the 321st Bombardment Wing, McCoy Air Force Base, Fla. In December 1961 the wing converted to B-52s and after the general completed transition training in B-52s, he was assigned as chief of the wing's Current Operations Branch.
In May 1964 General Brown transferred to the Single Manager Tanker Division at Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. He was project officer for the Southeast Asia KC-135 tactical air refueling operation "Young Tiger" from August 1964 until February 1967. He then attended the Armed Forces Staff College and, after graduation in June 1967, received F-105 combat crew training at McConnell Air Force Base.
From February 1968 to December 1968, General Brown was operations officer for the 357th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 355th Tactical Fighter Wing at Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, where he flew 115 combat missions in F-105 Thunderchiefs. While there he also served as the 7th Air Force liaison officer, U.S. Navy Task Group 77, in the Gulf of Tonkin.
The general was named operations plans officer for the "Rolling Thunder" Target Planning Staff in the Pacific Division of the Operations Directorate, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C., in January 1969. After graduation from the Air War College in June 1971, he was assigned as vice commander of the 96th Bombardment Wing at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.
In August 1972 General Brown returned to Southeast Asia as vice commander of SAC's B-52 unit, the 307th Strategic Wing at U-Tapao Royal Thai Naval Airfield, Thailand. He led and was airborne commander of the first wave of B-52s to strike the Hanoi area Dec. 18, 1972, during the 11-day bombing campaign against North Vietnam. He later flew as airborne commander on the Dec. 22, 1972 Haiphong raid. The general commanded the wing from February 1973 through the bombing halt in August 1973.
General Brown then returned to Dyess Air Force Base where he commanded the 96th Bombardment Wing during the retraining and recertification to combat ready status following the unit's return from Southeast Asia. In June 1974 he was assigned to the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, J-3, first as chief of the Strategic Operations Division, and in August 1976 he was named deputy director for operations (strategic and general operations).
From August 1977 to January 1979, General Brown commanded the 14th Air Division at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., where he had under his command SAC's SR-71 and U-2 reconnaissance operations; B-52 and KC-135 combat crew training school at Castle Air Force Base, Calif.; a B-52 wing at Mather Air Force Base, Calif.; and a KC-135 group at Travis Air Force Base, Calif.
He was named vice commander of 8th Air Force at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., in 1979 and in June 1980 he returned to SAC headquarters as deputy chief of staff for plans. He assumed his present duties in February 1982.
The general is a command pilot with more than 4,500 flying hours, including 520 combat hours and 178 combat missions (106 over North Vietnam). He has flown a variety of aircraft including B-47s, B-52s, KC-135s F-105s, SR-71s, U-2s, T-33s, T-38s and T-39s. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 16 oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Presidential Unit Citation emblem with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award ribbon with "V" device and two oak leaf clusters, Combat Readiness Medal and Good Conduct Medal. General Brown received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Emporia State University in 1981, the highest order of recognition given by the university.
He was promoted to major general July 1, 1979, with date of rank Sept. 1, 1975.