Retired June 1, 1982.
Maj. Gen. Gerald K. Hendricks is vice commander of the Air Force Space Division, Air Force Systems Command, Los Angeles Air Force Station, Calif. The Space Division is responsible for research and development, and acquisition of United States space systems.
Born in The Dalles, Ore., General Hendricks lived near there until his graduation from The Dalles High School. He entered the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., in 1947 and graduated with a bachelor of science degree and a commission in the Air Force in 1951. General Hendricks received master of science degrees in nuclear engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, in 1959, and in business administration from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., in 1968. The general graduated from Squadron Officer School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in 1956; the Harvard University school of business program for management development in 1963; the Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, Va., in 1965; and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C., in 1968.
General Hendricks earned his wings after completing pilot training with the 3555th Student Pilot Group at Greenville Air Force Base, Miss., graduating with the first all-jet-qualified class in January 1954. Since then he has attended numerous Air Force training schools, including jet instrument pilot training, tactical reconnaissance school, special weapons instructor course, and the worldwide and jungle survival schools.
In addition to tours of duty with the Strategic Air Command and the Tactical Air Command from September 1954 to June 1957, General Hendricks also served a temporary tour of duty in Korea during 1954. He entered the Air Force Institute of Technology in July 1957.
Much of General Hendricks' experience is in the defense research and development area. He was assigned to the Atomic Energy Commission's Nuclear Propulsion Office, Germantown, Md., in April 1959, and later served with Headquarters Research and Technology Division at Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C., from November 1962 to January 1965. While there he attended Harvard University. He completed the Armed Forces Staff College in July 1965 and was assigned to the Rocket Propulsion Laboratory at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., until he entered the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in August 1967. While in Washington, D.C., General Hendricks also attended The George Washington University, graduating in 1968.
Following graduation he was assigned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, in the Limited War Office. From July 1969 to July 1970, General Hendricks was the commander of the Air Force Systems Command Liaison Detachment in the Republic of Vietnam. He served as a fighter pilot and as a transport pilot and logged 26 combat sorties in AC-119, AC-130 and 0-2A reconnaissance aircraft, primarily in support of the 1969-1970 winter offensive.
Upon completion of his Vietnam assignment, he became the assistant for defense suppression at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., working directly for the commander of Air Force Systems Command. He managed a number of very successful high-priority projects, which included the first feasibility demonstration of the Air Force's precision standoff modular glide weapon that is now being developed as the GBU-15; the first strike remotely piloted vehicle using the BQM-34 and the Maverick missile; the time of arrival, distance measuring equipment ground prototype of the current Precision Emitter Location and Strike System; and the first distance measuring equipment guided weapon - a modified AQM-37 with 500-pound warhead.
General Hendricks became commander, Air Force Armament Laboratory, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., in June 1972. He was responsible for directing the development of all non-nuclear munitions, air-launched weapons, missiles, guns, ammunitions, targets and related hardware for use throughout the Air Force.
In March 1974 he assumed the position of director of science and technology for Air Force Systems Command, Andrews Air Force Base, where he had both direct command authority and technical direction responsibility for approximately 2,200 military and 5,600 civilian members of the Air Force Laboratory Technology Team. He was also responsible for all Air Force Systems Command research, exploratory and advanced development programs, including 14 laboratories, five liaison offices, and the European Office of Aerospace Research and Development.
General Hendricks assumed duties as vice commander, Space and Missile Systems Organization, Los Angeles Air Force Station in July 1978. In October 1979 the organization was redesignated Air Force Space Division.
The general is a command pilot. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation emblem, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award ribbon with "V" device and Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm.
He was promoted to major general Jan. 18, 1977, with date of rank Nov. 1, 1973.