Retired Sep. 1, 1974.
Major General Donald Henry Ross is assistant director for plans, programs and systems, Defense Supply Agency, with headquarters at Cameron Station, Alexandria, Va.
General Ross was born in 1923, in Modesto, Calif. He graduated from high school in Huntington Park, Calif., and earned a bachelor of science degree in industrial management from the University of Southern California in 1953. General Ross completed the National War College, Washington, D.C., in 1965, and earned his master's degree in international affairs from The George Washington University the same year. He began flying civilian aircraft in 1940 while attending high school.
During World War II, in the fall of 1941 he joined the Royal Air Force, completed a refresher flying course, and arrived in England in April 1942 as a sergeant pilot. He completed Spitfire operational training and in September l942 transferred to the U.S. Army Air Forces in England and was commissioned a second lieutenant by direct appointment.
General Ross continued to fly Spitfires with the 335th Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Group, in England. Later he converted to P-47 aircraft, and destroyed one German aircraft in October 1943. In December 1943 he was transferred to the 357th Fighter Group, flying P-51 Mustangs. On his second long-range bomber escort mission with the 357th Group, General Ross was forced to bail out of his P-51 when it was hit by pieces of an ME-109 aircraft he had shot down. He was captured immediately upon landing near Leipzig, Germany, and spent the remainder of the war in Europe in a German prison camp. In July 1945 General Ross returned to the United States, and in December 1945 entered the Inactive Reserve. During this period he was a civilian pilot in Alaska with Woodley Airways.
He returned to active duty in July 1946 with a Regular commission and was assigned as a P-80 flight commander with the 94th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group, at March Field, Calif. During 1947 he attended Air Tactical School at Tyndall Field, Fla. In September 1947 he entered the University of Southern California as a student in industrial management, under the Air Force Institute of Technology program, and later received his bachelor of science degree. In September 1949 he was transferred to Mather Air Force Base, Calif., where he served as personnel officer for the 3535th Bombardment Training Wing. He was assigned in February 1952 to the Crew Training Air Force headquarters at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas as director of military personnel.
In December l953 General Ross joined the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing at Kimpo, Korea, as group operations officer and later as commander of the 336th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, flying F-86F jet aircraft. In November 1954 he was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force as a planning officer in the Directorate of Personnel Planning, Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel. General Ross assumed command in June 1958 of the 3303rd Pilot Training Group, Bartow Air Base Fla. In September 1960 he was transferred to Williams Air Force Base, Ariz., where he served as commander of the 3525th Pilot Training Group, flying T-37 and T-33 aircraft.
His next assignment was to the Joint United States Military Advisory Group, Thailand, in August 1962, as deputy chief of the Air Force section. From January 1963 until June 1964 he was assigned to Headquarters 2nd Air Division in the Republic of Vietnam as director of operations.
He next attended the National War College at Fort McNair, Washington, D.C. During the same period, he attended The George Washington University and received his master of science degree in 1965. In August 1965 General Ross was assigned as vice commander, 479th Tactical Fighter Wing, George Air Force Base, Calif., and in February 1966 assumed command of the wing.
In February l967 General Ross was reassigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force in Washington, D.C., as chief of the Tactical and Airlift Division in the Directorate of Aerospace Programs, Deputy Chief of Staff, Programs and Resources. In July 1968 he was assigned as director, Special Projects.
In July I967 he assumed command of the 347th Tactical Fighter Wing with headquarters at Yokota Air Base, Japan. General Ross became commander of the 327th Air Division at Taipei Air Station, Taiwan, in June 1971.
General Ross was assigned to Headquarters Defense Supply Agency at Cameron Station, Alexandria, Va., in June 1973.
His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster and the Purple Heart.
General Ross' hometown is Huntington Park, Calif.
He was promoted to the grade of major general effective March 1, 1972, with date of rank Aug. 1, 1968.