Retired Aug. 31, 1954. Died Feb. 1, 1973.
Grandison Gardner was born at Pine Valley, Utah, in 1892. He graduated from Utah Agricultural College in 1914 with a bachelor of science degree, and in August 1917 entered the Officers' Training Camp at the Presidio of San Francisco, Calif.
Commissioned a second lieutenant in the Aviation Section of the Signal Reserve, at Rockwell Field, Calif., on Nov. 27, 1917, the following July he went to Mather Field, Calif., as maintenance officer and assistant engineer officer. He took his flying training at Mather Field that October and November, and in January 1920 returned to Rockwell Field, Calif. That May he was assigned to the Air Service Observation School at Fort Sill, Okla. On July 1, 1920, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Regular Army Air Service, and the following month returned to Mather Field for duty with the 91st Squadron as radio officer.
Going to McCook Field, Ohio, in November 1921, General Gardner worked with the development of bomb sights. In August 1923 he went to Luke Field, Hawaii, for duty with the 23rd Bomb Squadron, assuming command of it the following July. Two years later he was reassigned to McCook Field, to attend the Air Corps Engineering School, graduated in June 1927, and a year later received his master of science degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was then named chief of the Aerodynamics Unit, Air Corps Materiel Division at Wright Field, Ohio, becoming assistant commandant of the Air Corps Engineering School there in May 1930.
Entering the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Ala., in August 1932, General Gardner graduated the following June and remained there as an instructor. In April 1935 he went to Rockwell Field for special training in navigation and instrument flying and then resumed his former duties at Maxwell that July. Going to March Field, Calif., in August 1937, he was operations officer of the 19th Bomb Group, and in June 1939 became executive officer of that group. That October he returned to Wright Field as chief of the Armament Laboratory in the Air Corps Materiel Division; served as military air observer in London, England, from April to June 1940; and then returned to Wright Field as assistant technical executive in charge of armament in the Materiel Division.
Assigned to the Office of the Chief of Air Corps in February 1941, General Gardner served as assistant chief and later chief of the engineering section of the Materiel Division. He was assigned to Air Force headquarters in March 1942, and the following month assumed command of the Air Proving Ground Command at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., assuming additional duty as a member of the Joint Committee on New Weapons and Equipment in April 1944. In October 1945 he was assigned to the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey.
Returning to Air Force headquarters, Washington, D.C., in June 1946, General Gardner was named air comptroller. That November he was assigned to the Office of the Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Materiel, and in March 1947 was appointed deputy assistant chief of air staff for materiel. That Oct. 3 he was appointed a special assistant to the secretary of the Air Force, and in September 1948 was named director of installations. The next March he was designated president of the Air Force Base Development Board in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Materiel at Air Force headquarters.
General Gardner became commandant of the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio, in June 1950, and the following January he assumed command of the 10th Air Force at Selfridge Air Force Base, Mich. Returning to Air Force headquarters in April 1951, two months later he became a member of the Secretary of the Air Force Council. In July 1951 he was accepted Chairman of the Joint Air Defense Board at Washington, D.C., and the following month went to Ent Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colo., as director of the Joint Air Defense Board.
His decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion of Merit. He is rated a command pilot, combat observer and aircraft observer.