Retired March 1, 1977. Died Nov. 16, 1996.
Major General Colin C. Hamilton Jr., is commander of the Defense Industrial Supply Center at Philadelphia, Pa.
General Hamilton was born in Clayton, N.C., in 1924. Upon graduating from high school, he entered the Army Air Corps in June 1942 as an aviation cadet and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in October 1943. He completed B-24 training at Davis-Monthan Field, Ariz., and Westover Field, Mass.
During World War II, General Hamilton served as a B-24 pilot with the 459th Bombardment Group in Africa and Italy, and flew 51 bombing missions. After completing this combat tour in June 1944, he attended B-24 instructor pilot school at Galveston Field, Texas, and B-29 pilot training at Maxwell Field, Ala. He then served as a B-29 instructor pilot at Davis-Monthan Field, Ariz.
In March 1946, General Hamilton joined the 509th Bombardment Wing, Roswell Field, N.M., and participated in the Bikini atom bomb tests as a B-29 reconnaissance pilot.
From November 1947 to October 1955, General Hamilton was assigned to the Second Bombardment Wing, Davis-Monthan Field, and to Chatham and Hunter Air Force Bases, Ga. During this period, he served as a B-29 and B-50 senior standardization pilot and B-47 operations officer, with temporary duty assignments in England and French Morocco. While stationed at Davis-Monthan, General Hamilton flew the KB-29 tanker from Hickam Field, Hawaii, which provided the final air refueling to the "Lucky Lady" on its historic non-stop, round-the-world flight in February 1949.
General Hamilton was commander of a B-47 squadron at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., from October 1955 to November 1958. Upon completing KC-135 training at Castle Air Force Base, Calif., he was transferred to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., where his positions included KC-135 Squadron Commander, B-52 squadron commander, and wing deputy commander for operations.
In October 1961, he was assigned as director of operations for the 822d Air Division at Turner Air Force Base, Ga. He was transferred to Headquarters Eighth Air Force at Westover Air Force Base, Mass., in February 1963, serving as director of operations and training.
In June 1967, General Hamilton graduated from the National War College in Washington, D.C. He was then assigned to the 3d Air Division, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, as deputy chief of staff for operations. In this position he directed all Strategic Air Command B-52 and KC-135 aircraft operations in Southeast Asia and flew 40 combat missions over Vietnam.
General Hamilton was named commander of the 379th Bombardment Wing at Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Mich., in February 1969, and one year later he became commander of the 93d Bombardment Wing at Castle Air Force Base, Calif. While under his command, the wing was awarded the Fairchild Trophy for winning the Strategic Air Command combat competition, the Omaha Trophy for the best wing performance in SAC in 1970, and the SAC Flying Safety Award for 1970.
In June 1971, General Hamilton assumed duty as Deputy Director for Operations, National Military Command Center, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C. In June 1972, he was assigned to the U.S. European Command with headquarters at Stuttgart, Germany as deputy director of operations. General Hamilton was assigned as chief of staff for Combined Military Planning with the Central Treaty Organization in Ankara, Turkey, from November 1973 to October 1975. He assumed command of the Defense Industrial Supply Center in Philadelphia in October 1975.
He is a command pilot with more than 10,000 flying hours and is qualified as aircraft commander in both the B-52 and KC-135. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, the National Order of Vietnam and the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm.
He was promoted to the grade of major general April 1, 1973, with date of rank Aug. 1, 1969.