Retired July 1, 1986.
Major General Harold J.M. Williams is director of operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
General Williams was born in 1936, in Albany, Ga., where he graduated from high school. He received an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., and graduated in 1958 with a bachelor of science degree in military engineering and a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. In 1968 he graduated from the Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, with a master of science degree in aerospace-mechanical engineering. While there the general completed his thesis, "A Study of the Relation of Engine Stalls to the Total Pressure Dynamic Distortion at the Face of the F-111/TF-30 Engine," published under the sponsorship of the Flight Dynamics Laboratory. He completed Squadron Officer School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in 1964; graduated from the Air War College, also at Maxwell, in 1973 and concurrently earned a master of business administration degree from Auburn (Ala.) University. His thesis was titled and published as "The Impact of Air-to-Ground Guided Munitions on Tactical Air Warfare."
In June 1958 General Williams began pilot training at Bainbridge Air Base, Ga., and completed training at Craig Air Force Base, Ala., in September 1959. Upon graduation he was assigned to Moody Air Force Base, Ga., for the Air Force all-weather interceptor training course flying F-86D's. After graduation in May 1960, he was assigned to Strategic Air Command and began B-52 combat crew training at Castle Air Force Base, Calif. General Williams then reported to Beale Air Force Base, Calif., where he served as a B-52G co-pilot and aircraft commander with additional duties as an instructor and evaluator with the 456th Strategic Aerospace Wing's Standardization Evaluation Division. During this period he also attended Squadron Officer School.
General Williams left Beale for the Air Force Institute of Technology in June 1966. After graduation in April 1968, he began F-4E training with the 46th Tactical Fighter Squadron, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. He was selected for the advanced fighter operational training course on the electro-optical "Walleye" weapon and the laser guided bomb "Pave Way I." He transferred to the Pacific Air Forces in December 1968 and flew 200 combat missions in F-4D's with the 433rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. As an additional duty, he served as project officer on the laser guided bomb program during the first year it was used in combat.
From November 1969 to August 1972, General Williams served as research and development manager for avionics and landing systems, a joint service assignment at Air Force headquarters and the Department of Transportation, Washington, D.C. He worked with advanced technologies in lasers, infrared and flight simulation systems. Upon graduation from the Air War College in August 1973, he returned to SAC as deputy commander for operations with the 96th Bombardment Wing (Heavy), Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, which was equipped with B-52D's and KC-135s. One year later he was assigned to Headquarters 15th Air Force, March Air Force Base, Calif. He served as director for operations and training, and was responsible for SAC bomber, tanker, reconnaissance and missile operations and training.
He transferred in July 1975 to Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., as vice commander of the 28th Bombardment Wing (Heavy), which had B-52G's, KC-135s and airborne command and control EC-135 operations. In July 1977 he left Ellsworth for Plattsburgh Air Force Base, N.Y., where he commanded the 380th Bombardment Wing, equipped with SAC's most modern bomber, the variable sweep-wing FB-111s, and KC-135s. The combat crew training squadron for FB-111s is also part of the 380th Bombardment Wing. During his tenure, the wing twice won the highly coveted SAC bombing and navigation competition.
Assigned to Strategic Air Command headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., in May 1979, General Williams initially served as assistant deputy chief of staff for logistics. From June 1980 to July 1982, he was the command's inspector general. In this capacity he evaluated the readiness and effectiveness of all the command's organizations including safety and oversight programs. The general was then named SAC's deputy chief of staff for logistics. He was responsible for planning and directing logistical and maintenance support for the command's aircraft and missiles; this included planning for future weapon systems destined for use within SAC. In January 1983 General Williams became the command's deputy chief of staff for plans. During this period he formulated strategic doctrine and policy, force structure plans and their weapon systems requirements. In July 1984 he became director of operational requirements, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Research, Development and Acquisition at Air Force headquarters. He identified and defined operational capabilities for new Air Force weapon systems and modifications to existing ones to improve future military performance. In addition he testified to Congress and others to gain support and funds for these programs. He assumed his present duties in August 1985.
The general is a command pilot and has flown more than 5,000 hours in F-4s, T-33s, B-52s, F-86s, FB-1lls and EC-135s. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 10 oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, and Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster.
He was promoted to major general June 1, 1983, with date of rank Aug. 1, 1979.