Retired March 1, 1984.
Major General George A. Edwards Jr. is director of plans and policy, J-5, U.S. Readiness Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.
A native of Crossville, Tenn., General Edwards was born in 1929. He graduated from Cumberland High School in 1947 and attended the University of Tennessee. He received a bachelor's degree in military science from the University of Maryland in 1961 and a master's degree in international relations from San Francisco State College in 1965. The general graduated from Squadron Officer School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in 1955 and the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pa., in 1970.
General Edwards entered military duty as an aviation cadet in March 1951 during the Korean War. He graduated from flying school in June 1952 at Vance Air Force Base, Okla., with a commission as a second lieutenant and his pilot wings.
In January 1953 General Edwards was assigned to the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Kimpo Air Base, South Korea, where he flew 101 missions in RF-80s.
From December 1953 to December 1956, he served as a jet flying instructor with the Air Training Command at Bryan Air Force Base, Texas. During this period he attended Squadron Officer School. Following an assignment as an F-100 pilot with the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, S.C., he transferred to Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., as chief of safety, and chief of standardization and evaluation for the 432nd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing.
In July 1959 General Edwards was selected to assist in the re-establishment of the West German air force and for the next three years served as the senior adviser to the newly formed Luftwaffe wings at Erding, Engolstadt and Eggebeck. In recognition of his services, the chief of staff of the German air force awarded him Luftwaffe wings. He was one of the first Americans to receive that distinction.
General Edwards returned to Shaw Air Force Base in July 1962 and served as assistant director of operations with the 4411th Combat Crew Training Group. The following year he transferred to the newly activated Tactical Air Reconnaissance Center at Shaw, with duties involving all aspects of operations, training and doctrine.
From July 1964 to June 1965, General Edwards was a graduate student at San Francisco State College under the Air Force Institute of Technology program and graduated with highest distinction. In July 1965 he joined the Directorate of Concepts and Doctrine in the Office of the Deputy for Plans, Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va.
In March 1967 General Edwards transferred to the Republic of Vietnam as commander of the 16th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, flying RF-4C's. He subsequently become commander of Detachment 1, 460th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, flying RB-57s. He flew 213 combat missions. In February 1968 he transferred to Headquarters U.S. European Command as operations officer with the Joint Reconnaissance Center at Vaihingen, Germany.
General Edwards entered the U.S. Army War College in August 1969 and was a distinguished graduate in June 1970. He next was assigned at Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas, as director of operations for the 75th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing. In July 1972 he assumed command of the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing also at Bergstrom.
In April 1974 General Edwards returned to Headquarters Tactical Air Command and served variously as assistant deputy chief of staff for logistics, inspector general, chief of staff and deputy chief of staff for plans.
He returned to Bergstrom in October 1977 as vice commander of 12th Air Force. In July 1978 he become commander of the 314th Air Division, Osan Air Base, South Korea. The general was also commander of the Korean Air Defense Sector, deputy commander of Air Forces Korea, and director of readiness and combat operations for the Air Component Command/Combined Forces Command. He assumed his present duties in September 1980.
The general is a command pilot with more than 5,000 hours flying time in jet fighter and reconnaissance aircraft plus more than 2,000 hours in civilian aircraft accumulated prior to his entry into the Air Force. In 1957 he established the official world speed record for the 500-kilometer closed course in the RF-101 at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. In March 1979 General Edwards was awarded Korean air force flying wings.
His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with three oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with 19 oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation emblem, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award ribbon with four oak leaf clusters, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation and Republic of Korea Order of National Security Merit with cluster.
He was promoted to major general Aug. 1, 1976, with date of rank July 1, 1973.