Retired May 1, 1980.
Maj. Gen. Henry B. Stelling Jr. is Vice Commander of the Electronic Systems Division, Air Force Systems Command, with headquarters at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass.
General Stelling was born in South San Francisco in 1924. He graduated from Balboa High School, San Francisco, in January 1942. He attended the School of Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, before being called for active duty in the Army Enlisted Reserve Corps in June 1943. While completing armored command basic training at Fort Knox, Ky., he received a congressional appointment to the U.S. Military Academy with an entry date of June 1944. Upon graduation in June 1948 with a bachelor of science degree in engineering, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. Subsequently he obtained a master of business administration degree from the University of California and a master of science degree in international affairs from The George Washington University. He is also a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College and the National War College.
General Stelling was assigned to Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, in 1948. Following attendance at the Nuclear Weapons School at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., he was assigned to the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project at Sandia Base, N.M., in 1949. While at Sandia Base he was an electronics supervisor in the first Air Force atomic weapon assembly organization and a technical writer and operations staff officer at Headquarters Field Command.
In January 1953 General Stelling was transferred to the Directorate of Special Weapons at Tactical Air Command headquarters, Langley Air Force Base, Va. There, he was cited for developing and testing an organizational concept for tactical atomic support activities which resulted in a significant reduction of personnel and equipment required for theater operations.
General Stelling entered basic navigation training in June 1954 at Ellington Air Force Base, Texas. After advanced bombardier training at Mather Air Force Base, Calif., in November 1955, he was assigned to the 384th Bombardment Wing of the Strategic Air Command at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. In November 1957 his B-47 flight crew won the annual SAC bombing and navigation competition. In August 1961, he entered the Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, Va.
In January 1962 General Stelling was assigned to the Air Force Systems Command with duties at the Space Systems Division in Los Angeles, Calif., where he served in the Secretary of the Air Force Special Project Office responsible for the acquisition of space systems. In 1964 he attended the Air Force Institute of Technology graduate engineering management course at the University of Southern California. In 1965 he returned to the Space Systems Division. In 1968 he entered the National War College and while there participated in the graduate international affairs course at The George Washington University. He returned to the Space and Missile Systems Organization (formerly Space Systems Division) in 1969, where he remained until 1972.
During the period 1962-72, General Stelling held the following positions: Atlas/Agena launch vehicle project officer, mission payload project officer, chief of an engineering division responsible for developing two large space systems, program director of a large space system and finally, deputy for five space programs, including two large automatic data processing facilities.
In September 1972 he became director of space in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research and Development, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. In September 1976, he assumed his present position at the Electronic Systems Division.
His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award ribbon. He is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma business administration fraternity.
He was promoted to the grade of temporary major general on Feb. 6,1976, with date of rank June 10, 1973, and to permanent major general on Feb. 24, 1978 with date of rank July 6, 1974.