Military Bios

Major General Gilbert L. Curtis:

Military Branch:United States Airforce
Died Oct. 1, 1985.
Major General Gilbert L. Curtis is chief of staff for Headquarters Military Airlift Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.
General C Curtis was born in 1917 in Bridgeport, Conn., where he graduated from Warren Harding High School in l938. He attended Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa., and is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College and Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He entered active military service in December 1939, attended flying school at Randolph and Kelly fields, Texas, and received his pilot wings and commission as second lieutenant in October 1940.
He remained at Kelly Field as a flight instructor. From June 1942 to January 1943 he trained in B-17 aircraft at Sebring, Fla., and then served as a Flying Fortress instructor pilot at Lockbourne Air Base, Ohio. In December 1943 he was transferred to instruct in B-29 aircraft. In October 1945 he became squadron commander in the 467th Bombardment Group, Clovis Air Field, N.M.
In January 1947 he was assigned to the 374th Troop Carrier Group in the Philippine Islands. He served as chief, Transportation Division, Far East Air Forces, until May 1949, when he entered the Air Command and Staff School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. He subsequently served as an instructor at the school.
General Curtis was transferred to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., in January 1953, and served as senior Air Force member, Joint Land Transportation Agency, and in January 1954 became chief of the Traffic Division, Directorate of Transportation. He was appointed deputy commander, 1502nd Air Transport Wing at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, in September 1956, and became commander in March 1958. From August 1959 to July 1960 he attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Washington, D.C.
He next was appointed assistant deputy chief of staff for operations, Military Airlift Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill. In July 1964 he was named commander, 63rd Troop Carrier Wing, Hunter Air Force Base, Ga. As commander, he earned the Legion of Merit for "leadership, exemplary foresight, and ceaseless efforts ... Influencing the highly significant operational achievements made by the 63rd Troop Carrier Wing." When plans were made for the closing of Hunter Air Force Base, General Curtis went to Norton Air Force Base, Calif., in April 1966, to serve as the base commander until MAC assumed control of the base. He assisted in organizing the 63rd Military Airlift Wing and became commander in July 1966.
General Curtis returned to Headquarters Military Airlift Command as deputy chief of staff for plans in August 1968. He was appointed commander, Twenty-first Air Force, McGuire Air Force Base, N.J., in August 1969. He was named chief of staff, Headquarters Military Airlift Command, Scott Air Force Base, in September 1971.
His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal and the Army Commendation Medal. He holds the aeronautical rating of command pilot.


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