Retired Dec. 1, 1971.
Major General Donald William Graham is the assistant deputy chief of staff for systems and logistics, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. He is responsible for all Air Force logistics support, which includes procurement policy, maintenance engineering, transportation, supply and services, and foreign military assistance and sales.
General Graham was born in San Francisco, Calif., in 1917. Upon completion of high school at Oakland, Calif., he entered the University of California and received his bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering in 1939. In 1952 he received a master's degree in business administration from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration where he was graduated with honors and named a Baker Scholar. In addition, he successfully completed military courses at the Army Air Forces Engineering School in 1945, the Royal Air Force Staff College in 1946, and the Air War College in 1959.
Although he had a Reserve commission in the Army Signal Corps, he entered active military service in October 1939 as a flying cadet and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Air Corps Reserve in June 1940. He served as a flight instructor at Randolph Field, Texas, until assigned as squadron commander at Moore Field, Texas, in 1942. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Regular Army in 1942.
General Graham was in the cadre that organized the 357th Fighter Group at Hamilton Field, Calif., in 1943. He served as the group operations officer, executive officer and, while in the European Theater of Operations, was given command of this same group early in 1944.
Immediately after World War II, he served a four-year period (1946-1950) in the Aircraft Procurement and Production Section of the Air Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. During this period, he served as chief of each of the four branches and eventually as section chief responsible for procurement and production of all types of aircraft.
Upon his graduation from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in 1952, General Graham was assigned to the Office of the Assistant for Materiel Program Control, Deputy Chief of Staff for Materiel, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, and served as deputy chief and then chief of the Current Program Team and as chief of the Fiscal Control Division. From 1953 to 1955, he served as executive officer to the undersecretary of the Air Force and then for the assistant secretary of the Air Force for Materiel.
In 1955 he was assigned to Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, as deputy commander of the 10th Air Division charged with the air defense of the southern portion of Alaska. In Phase III of the 1956 Fighter Weapons Meet, he succeeded in winning high individual scoring honors, as well as the high team captain award.
He entered the Air War College in 1958 and after graduation was assigned to the Aeronautical Systems Center as director of Tactical and Support Systems, Air Materiel Command (now Air Force Logistics Command), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
In July 1960 General Graham was selected to be the initial commander of the Central Contract Management Region, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, which was under the Air Materiel Command and provided field management for U.S. Air Force contracts and other agency-assigned contracts within the central third of the United States. In July 1962 he was assigned as deputy chief of staff for materiel, Military Air Transport Service (now Military Airlift Command), Scott Air Force Base, Ill. In addition to his normal duties, he was responsible for the procurement of all long-range airlift.
General Graham assumed command of the Twenty-First Air Force (formerly Eastern Transport Air Force) in June 1965. He became deputy chief of staff, maintenance engineering, Air Force Logistics Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, in August 1967.
In August 1969, General Graham was assigned as assistant deputy chief of staff, systems and logistics, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
His military decorations include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal and Croix de Guerre with Palm (France).