Retired March 1, 1972.
Major General Francis Walter Nye is commander of Field Command, Defense Atomic Support Agency, Sandia Base, Albuquerque, N.M.
General Nye was born in 1918, in Barton, Vt. He graduated from the University of Vermont with a bachelor of science degree, in June 1941, entered the Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet, and in February 1942 completed flying training and was commissioned a second lieutenant.
During the early part of World War II, he served as a B-24 aircraft pilot with the 98th Bombardment Group, Ninth Air Force, operating from Palestine, Egypt and North Africa. He returned to the United States in April 1943, after flying 36 missions with the 98th Bombardment Group, and was assigned to the 444th Bombardment Group, Tucson, Ariz., as a B-24 aircraft instructor pilot.
In September 1943 he entered the B-29 aircraft program first as an acceptance test pilot at the Boeing Company plant in Wichita, Kan., and then with the 468th Bombardment Group, Salina, Kan. He went with the 468th Bombardment Group to the China-Burma-India Theater and flew 11 combat missions in B-29s. In May 1945 he went with the group to Tinian Island and from there to Roswell, N.M.
In September 1946 General Nye was selected to head the Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps program at the University of Massachusetts as professor of air science and tactics. In July 1949 he was assigned to March Air Force Base, Calif., where he served successively as a squadron commander, wing director of operations, division director of operations, and deputy wing commander with the 22nd, 106th and 320th Bombardment Wings and the 12th Air Division respectively. During the Korean War, he went with the 22nd Bombardment Wing to Korea and flew 19 combat missions.
General Nye was assigned to Strategic Air Command Headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., in May 1953, for duty as deputy chief of the Operations Division and later served as executive officer to the director of operations. From July 1956 to June 1957, he attended the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
He then was assigned as deputy commander of the 28th Bombardment Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., and was appointed commander of the wing in July 1959, serving it that capacity for three years. He returned to March Air Force Base in June 1962 where he served as director of operations for Fifteenth Air Force and was appointed chief of staff in August 1965. In April 1966 General Nye assumed command of the Eighteenth Strategic Aerospace Division with headquarters at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash.
General Nye was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations, in October 1967, as assistant to the director of plans, and in this capacity served as chairman of the Rated Personnel Requirements and Allocations Committee. He retained this chairmanship when he was appointed deputy director for plans and policy in the Directorate of Plans in August 1968. Additionally in November 1968, he was appointed chairman of the U.S. delegation of the Inter-American Defense Board, the Joint Brazil-U.S. Defense Commission, and the U.S. section, Joint Mexican-U.S. Defense Commission. In July 1969 General Nye became deputy director of plans.
In October 1969, General Nye was assigned as commander, Field Command, Defense Atomic Support Agency, Sandia Base, N.M.
His military decorations include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem with three oak leaf clusters, and Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon. He is a command pilot.
General Nye's hometown is Barton, Vt.
He was promoted to the temporary grade of major general effective March 1, 1969, with date of rank Dec. 8, 1964.