Retired June 1, 1970.
Major General Franklin A. Nichols is commander of the Ground Electronics Engineering Installation Agency, with headquarters at Griffiss Air Force Base, N.Y. GEEIA is the Air Force Logistics Command worldwide organization for installation engineering, installation, and follow-on depot level maintenance of ground communications-electronics equipment.
General Nichols was born in Holdenville, Okla., in 1918, and attended primary and secondary schools in Wewoka, Okla. He completed his academic studies at Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Va., in 1940, and entered active military service. He was accepted for aviation cadet training in the U.S. Army Air Corps, and graduated in April 1941. He became jump qualified in 1965 after completing jump training at Fort Benning, Ga. His other service schools include the Armed Forces Staff College and Naval War College.
His first assignment after graduation from flying school was with the 6th Pursuit Squadron, Wheeler Field, Territory of Hawaii, as a fighter pilot. He was there when Pearl Harbor was attacked Dec. 7, 1941. In August 1942 he was transferred to the 7th Pursuit Squadron in New Guinea where he served as operations officer. In June 1943 General Nichols went to Australia where he served as commander of the newly activated 431st Fighter Squadron. Later, the squadron with its P-38 Lightning fighters moved to New Guinea. In February 1944 he became assistant operations officer for the 5th Fighter Command in New Guinea.
From December 1944 to July 1945, General Nichols served as deputy commander for operations with the 310th Bombardment Wing in the Philippine Islands. During this time in the Pacific, he flew 171 missions and 406 combat hours and was credited with destroying five enemy aircraft and the possible destruction of six more.
General Nichols spent the next five years with the 20th Fighter Group, El Paso, Texas, and later Shaw Air Force Base, S.C.; and the War Plans Division, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. He then entered the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va., and upon completion of his studies served as the Air Force instructor for strategy and tactics at the Naval War College, Newport, R.I. While there, he also completed the school's curriculum.
General Nichols had a short tour of duty as commander of the 151st Tactical Control Group at Otis Air Force Base, Mass., and in January 1954 became executive officer of the 388th Fighter Bomber Wing, and base commander, Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., and then Etain Air Base, France. In February 1955 he was transferred to the 66th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, Sembach Air Base, Germany, where he served as commander of the Maintenance and Supply Group and, later, of the Tactical Group.
From August 1958 to June 1960 he was senior Air Force adviser to the California Air National Guard 146th Tactical Fighter Wing at Van Nuys, Calif.
He was transferred to Shaw Air Force Base in June 1960 and while there served as director of operations and commander of the 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing and as deputy commander for operations, 837th Air Division. With the change of the 837th Air Division to the U.S. Air Force Tactical Air Reconnaissance Center, he continued as deputy commander for operations of the center. In February 1964 he became commander of the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing, Homestead Air Force Base, Fla.
In June 1965 General Nichols assumed command of the 833rd Air Division, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. He was transferred to Southeast Asia in June 1966 where he served as chief of staff, Seventh Air Force.
In November 1967 General Nichols was assigned as commander of the Ground Electronics Engineering Installation Agency with headquarters at Griffiss Air Force Base, N.Y.
General Nichols is a command pilot with more than 4,800 hours of flying time and wears the Parachutist Badge.