Retired July 1, 1962. Died Nov. 4, 1994.
Edward Willis Suarez was born in Biloxi, Miss., in 1909. He graduated from high school in Mobile, Ala., and then entered the U.S. Military Academy, from which he graduated and was commissioned a second lieutenant of infantry June 10, 1932.
In October 1932, General Suarez began primary flight training at Randolph Field and a year later graduated from advanced flying school at Kelly Field, Texas. He was rated a pilot and assigned to the 11th Bomb Squadron at March Field, Calif. He transferred to the Air Corps on Feb. 16, 1934 and the following November was assigned to the Seventh Bomb Group at Hamilton Field, Calif. In June 1937, he was assigned to Wheeler Field, Hawaii, where he served successively with the 26th Attack Squadron and the 18th Pursuit Group.
Genera1 Suarez became a flying instructor at Randolph Field in June 1939, and three years later was appointed director of training at the flying school at Blackland Air Base, Waco, Texas. He assumed command of the air base at Del Rio, Texas in August 1942. He was transferred to the Army Air Force Training Command at Fort Worth, Texas in December 1942, as assistant to the assistant chief of staff for operations in charge of pilot training, and in July 1944 was appointed assistant chief of staff for operations. For the outstanding performance of these duties, General Suarez was awarded the Legion of Merit with specific reference to work in connection with the writing of the first official Army Air Corps Training Manual for instruction in basic flying training. Also, because of his contribution to the training of French pilots, the French Government appointed him honorary pilot in the French Air Forces.
In August 1945, General Suarez was assigned as chief of the Operations and Training Division of the U.S. Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific Theater. He was named assistant to the assistant chief of staff of the Pacific Air Command in January, 1946, and the following July became assistant chief of staff of plans for that command. General Suarez was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his accomplishments with the Strategic Air Forces and subsequently, the Army Commendation Ribbon for his accomplishments with the Pacific Air Command. In connection with the latter, he organized and chaired the first post-war conference for Air Traffic Control for the Pacific Ocean Area, bringing together all services and agencies responsible for operating aircraft in that area. From January 1947 to May 1948, he was Air Force member of the Joint Strategic Plans and Operations Group of the Far East Command.
General Suarez entered the National War College in August 1948, and graduated in June 1949. He then was assigned to Air Force Headquarters as a member of the International Branch in the Directorate of Plans and Operations, and in July 1949 was appointed chief of that branch.
In February 1951, General Suarez went to Paris as chief of the Policy Branch of the Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers in Europe. The following October, he became chief of staff of the Allied Air Forces in Southern Europe, with station at Firenze, Italy and later Naples. Upon termination of this duty, the Italian Government appointed him honorary pilot in the Italian Air Forces.
Upon returning to the United States in January 1954, General Suarez was assigned as vice commander of the Central Air Defense Force with headquarters at Grandview Air Force Base, Grandview, Mo. He served in this capacity until June 1957. For outstanding performance of duty during this period, General Suarez was awarded the first oak leaf cluster to the Legion of Merit.
In December 1956 General Suarez was one of 25 recipients of Sports Illustrated Silver Anniversary All-America Award. Recipients were selected from football players who graduated from colleges of the United States 25 years ago and who have since distinguished themselves in their chosen careers. Since 1957, General Suarez has served as deputy commandant at the National War College.