Retired May 1, 1989.
Major General Elbert E. Harbour is vice commander, Aeronautical Systems Division, Air Force Systems Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
General Harbour was born in 1929, in Union, Miss., and is a graduate of Shady Grove High School. He received a bachelor of science degree in 1952 from Mississippi State University, where he continued as a graduate student with a research grant until July 1953.
He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program in July 1953. He then was selected to head the mathematics department at Starkville (Miss.) High School. He remained there until he entered active duty in June 1954 at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss.
General Harbour completed navigator training at Ellington Air Force Base, Texas, in April 1957, and electronic warfare and radar training at Keesler Air Force Base in October 1957. He spent the next seven years as an electronic warfare officer, flying B-52s and B-58s for Strategic Air Command at Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, and Clinton-Sherman Air Force Base, Okla.
After receiving his master's degree at Southern Methodist University through the Air Force Institute of Technology in September 1965, General Harbour was assigned to the 41st Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron as an EB-66 electronic warfare officer and flew 100 combat missions in the Republic of Vietnam. Returning to the United States in August 1966, he was assigned to Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., as project leader for operational test and evaluation of electronic warfare equipment and tactics.
He transferred to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., in April 1972 as Strategic Air Command's test force manager, responsible for operational testing of air-to-surface missiles and electronic warfare equipment. General Harbour then transferred to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., as an Air Staff programs and resources branch chief. He continued his work in electronic warfare programs, planning and budgeting for the five-year plan. In June 1974 he was assigned to the Office of the Secretary of Defense as a military staff assistant to the deputy director for test and evaluation, research and engineering.
In January 1977 the general was assigned to Aeronautical Systems Division as deputy director of the Fighter Attack Systems Program Office. In January 1980 he became director of the C-X System Program Office. From April 1980 to September 1986 General Harbour served as deputy commander for airlift and trainer systems, and continued as the program director as the C-X transitioned to the C-17A. He served as vice commander of Aeronautical Systems Division until January 1987, when he was named program director for the B-1B System Program Office. He assumed his current position in August 1988.
The general is a master navigator. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters, and Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster.
He was awarded the Association of Old Crows Management Medal for Excellence in Management of Electronic Warfare Programs in 1978. His academic achievements include Beta Gamma Sigma and Sigma Iota Epsilon keys.
He was promoted to major general Aug. 1, 1984, with date of rank Nov. 1, 1980.