Retired March 1, 1972. Died Sep. 22, 2004.
Maj. Gen. Edward M. Nichols Jr., is the deputy inspector general for inspection and safety with headquarters at Norton Air Force Base, San Bernardino, Calif. His directorates of Aerospace Safety and Inspection are located at Norton Air Force Base while the Directorate of Nuclear Safety is at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. He also has an assistant with offices in the Office of the Inspector General, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
General Nichols was born in 1920, at Savannah, Ga. He attended high school in Cornelia, Ga., and graduated in 1937. He then attended North Georgia Military College, Dahlonega, Ga., majoring in mathematics, until 1939. In September 1940 he entered the Army Air Corps and following completion of flight training received his commission as a second lieutenant and his pilot wings.
From 1941 to 1951, except for the period from February 1946 to October 1947 when he was in the inactive reserve, he held such positions as squadron commander, operations officer, and aircraft maintenance officer.
During the Korean War, General Nichols commanded the 344th Bombardment Squadron equipped with B-29 aircraft, at Yokota Air Base, Japan, from April to October 1951. He next became deputy commander for operations of the 106th Bombardment Wing, March Air Force Base, Calif., and in March 1953 was selected to attend B-47 transition training at Pinecastle Air Force Base, Fla., for three months. He returned to resume his duties as operations officer with the 320th Bombardment Wing, formerly the 106th Bombardment Wing, at March Air Force Base.
In January 1954 he was assigned as chief, Control Division, Directorate of Operations, Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. He attended the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., from August 1957 to July 1958. General Nichols was vice commander then commander of the 4081st Strategic Wing at Ernest Harmon Air Base, Newfoundland, for two years.
He went to Westover Air Force Base, Mass., in June 1960 where he served as director of operations, Eighth Air Force, then, as commander of the 99th Bombardment Wing and in February 1964 became commander of the 57th Air Division.
From July 1966 until his assignment as vice commander, Fifteenth Air Force, at March Air Force Base in April 1968, General Nichols was the inspector general at Headquarters Strategic Air Command. He became the deputy inspector general for inspection and safety with headquarters at Norton Air Force Base, Calif., in September 1969.
His military decorations include the Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, and Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster.