Retired April 1, 1985.
Major General (Dr.) Kermit Q. Vandenbos is commander of Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. The facility is the largest medical center in the Air Force.
General Vandenbos was born in 1927, in Corsica, S.D., and graduated from Mitchell (S.D.) Senior High School in 1944. After serving two years in the U.S. Navy, he returned to Mitchell in 1946 and resumed his studies. He received a bachelor of arts degree from Dakota Wesleyan University in 1949, a bachelor of medical science degree from the University of South Dakota in 1951 and a doctor of medicine degree from the University of Washington School of Medicine in 1953.
He returned to active duty in June 1953 and was commissioned a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. After completing his internship at Letterman General Hospital, San Francisco, in June 1954, he transferred to the U.S. Air Force and was assigned as a general medical officer to the dispensary at Yuma Air Force Base, Ariz.
In June 1955 General Vandenbos transferred to Tripler Army Hospital, Honolulu, where he completed his general surgery residency in September 1959. He next was assigned to the 836th Tactical Hospital, Langley Air Force Base, Va., as chief of surgery and chief of hospital services. In February 1962 he moved to the Office of the Command Surgeon, Tactical Air Command, as chief of the Professional Services Division. During this assignment he also completed the examinations of the American Board of Surgery in general, surgery; attended the Aerospace Medicine Primary Course at Brooks Air Force Base, Texas; and received his aeronautical rating as a flight surgeon in December 1963.
From January 1964 to July 1968, the general served initially as chief of the department of surgery, then as commander, 328th U.S. Air Force Hospital, Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base, Mo., with additional responsibility as 29th Air Division surgeon.
In July 1968 General Vandenbos moved to the Air Force hospital at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, where he served successively as chief of the department of surgery, then hospital vice commander and later hospital commander. He was appointed vice commander of the Malcolm Grow USAF Medical Center, Andrews Air Force Base, Md., in July 1971, with additional duty as director of hospital services and director of base medical services. He took command of the center in October 1972, with additional duties as commander of the 1071st Medical Service Squadron and as surgeon for Headquarters Command, until its disestablishment in July 1976. He assumed his present command in July 1978.
He is a member of the American Medical Association, Society of Air Force Clinical Surgeons and American Board of Surgery. He is also a fellow in the American College of Surgeons.
The general is a senior flight surgeon. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal and Air Force Outstanding Unit Award ribbon.
He was promoted to major general Jan. 1, 1982, with date of rank Aug. 1, 1978.