Retired March 1, 1973. Died June 12, 1989.
Brigadier General Carl William Stapleton is vice commander of the U.S. Air Force Security Service, Kelly Air Force Base, Texas. A primary responsibility of this command is to provide communications security for the aerospace forces.
Born in Knoxville, Tenn., in 1917, General Stapleton graduated from Albuquerque High School, Albuquerque, N.M., in 1935. He enlisted in the 8th Cavalry, Fort Bliss, Texas, in 1935, and in 1938 received a Congressional appointment to the U.S. Military Academy. After graduation in 1942 he entered flying training and received his pilot's wings in November 1942.
He served from November 1942 to November 1943 as assistant operations officer, 330th Fighter Squadron, North Island Naval Air Station, San Diego, Calif., and then had two tours of aerial combat duty. From November 1943 to July 1944 he was with the Eighth Air Force in Europe as operations officer, 385th Fighter Squadron, 364th Fighter Group, Honington, England. After a brief return to the United States, he returned to England as commander of the same squadron for his second combat tour, August 1944 to May 1945. He flew 113 combat missions over Normandy, Northern France, the Ardennes, the Rhineland, and Central Europe.
General Stapleton returned to the United States and, from May 1945 to January 1946, served as executive officer to the assistant chief of staff, personnel, U.S. Army Air Forces. In September 1946 he enrolled at Columbia University, New York City, where he received a master's degree in business administration.
In July 1948 General Stapleton was assigned as assistant director, Comptroller Division, Special Staff School, Air University, Craig Air Force Base, Ala. He next was assigned to the Strategic Air Command as deputy commander, 31st Fighter Escort Wing, and then as deputy commander, 108th Fighter Escort Wing, Turner Air Force Base, Ga. From December 1951 to May 1952 he was commander of the 108th Fighter Bomber Wing, Godman Air Force Base, Ky.
In December 1952 General Stapleton received an assignment as U.S. air attache, Bangkok, Thailand, where he served until March 1955. He was then assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., and was chief, Air Attache Branch, Directorate of Collection and Dissemination, Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence. He then returned to the Far East in March 1959 and became assistant chief of staff for intelligence (J-2), U.S. Taiwan Defense Command, Taipei, Taiwan.
General Stapleton received his first U.S. Air Force Security Service assignment in July 1961 when he became commander of the 6940th Technical Training Wing at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas. In July 1963 he became deputy commander of the Pacific Security Region, Wheeler Air Force Base, Hawaii, and in August 1964 he became commander. In August 1966 he assumed his present position as vice commander, USAFSS.
His decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with eight oak leaf clusters, and Air Force Commendation Medal. He has received the order of the Crown of Thailand and honorary pilot wings from both the Royal Thai Air Force and the Chinese Air Force. He holds an aeronautical rating of command pilot.