Retired Jan. 31, 1959. Died Aug. 17, 1989.
George Robert Acheson was born in Lewiston, Maine in 1904. He attended the University of Maine and enlisted in the Army as a private Feb. 7, 1925.
After serving with the 24th Pursuit Squadron at France Field, Panama Canal Zone, he was appointed a flying cadet in the Air Service and began primary flying training at Brooks Field, Texas, in March 1926. In September of that year he went to Kelly Field, Texas, for advanced flying training, completed the course, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Air Reserve Feb. 28, 1927. The following June he was appointed a second lieutenant of Air Corps in the regular army and assigned with the 3rd Attack Group at Fort Crockett, Texas. In October 1927, he became squadron maintenance inspector of the 8th Attack Squadron at Fort Crockett and later served there as post and group personnel adjutant of the 3rd Attack Group.
Becoming a flying instructor at the Brooks Field Primary Flying School in September 1929, in October 1931 General Acheson assumed duties at Randolph Field, Texas. He entered the Air Corps Technical School at Chanute Field, Ill., in September 1932 and completed the armament course the following March. He then became squadron adjutant of the 99th Observation Squadron at Mitchel Field, N.Y. In January 1934 he joined the 8th Pursuit Group at Langley Field, Va. After a tour of duty as an air mail pilot with the Army Air Corps mail operations, from February to May 1934, he returned to the 99th Observation Squadron.
The following January General Acheson began a special training in advanced air navigation with the 19th Bombardment Group at Rockwell Field, Calif., and the following March returned to Mitchel Field as intelligence and operations officer of the 1st Bombardment Squadron. Going to Hawaii in July 1937, he served at Schofield Barracks as intelligence and operations officer of the 26th Attack Squadron. In November 1938 he became commanding officer of that unit and subsequently commanded the 86th Observation Squadron there.
Joining the 43rd Bombardment Squadron at MacDill Field, Fla., in August 1940, General Acheson assumed command of the 67th Bombardment Squadron in May 1941. The following September he became materiel officer for the 1st Air Support Service Command at Pope Field, N.C. In July 1942 he was appointed supervisor of training of the officers training unit at Barksdale Field, La., and later served as assistant chief of the air staff for operations of the 3rd Bomber Command at MacDill Field. He was named commanding officer of the 55th Bombardment Wing at MacDill Field in June 1943, and the following January went to the North African theater of operations as commander of that wing.
Assigned to command the War Department Personnel Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., in June 1945, three months later General Acheson was assigned to Army Air Force Headquarters with temporary duty at Fort Logan, Colo., with the War Department Officer's Screening Board. In May 1946 he was assigned to the 13th Air Force, with Headquarters at Leyte, Philippine Islands, and two months later became its chief of staff. In March 1947 he was assigned to the Far East Air Material Command with detached service as commanding general of the Philippine Air Material Area. The following month the Philippine Air Material Area was redesignated the 4th Air Depot. In October 1947 he was appointed chief of staff of the 5th Air Force, with Headquarters at Nagoya, Japan.
Named deputy for materiel of the Continental Air Command in June 1940, with Headquarters at Mitchel Air Force Base, N.Y., the following November he was appointed deputy commander of the Eastern Air Defense Force there, assuming command of the Central Air Defense Force at Kansas City, Mo., in March 1951. In February 1953 General Acheson was appointed commanding general of the Alaskan Air Command, with Headquarters at Elmendorf Air Force Base; Alaska, and Feb. 1, 1956 became commander, Middletown air materiel area, Air Material Command, Olmstead Air Force Base, Middletown, Pa.
His decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, and Air Medal with oak leaf cluster. He is rated a command pilot.
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
He was promoted to first lieutenant (permanent) Nov. l, 1933; to captain (temporary) April 20, 1935; to captain (permanent) June 30, 1937; to major (temporary) Jan. 31, 1941; to lieutenant colonel (temporary) Jan. 5, 1942; to. colonel (temporary) March 1, 1942, to major (permanent) June 30, 1944; to brigadier general (temporary) Sept. 11, 1944; to colonel (permanent) April 29 1948; to brigadier general (permanent) Jan. 27, 1950; to major general (temporary) April 11, 1951; to major general (permanent) Oct. 27, 1954.