Retired July 1, 1978. Died March 24, 2004.
Maj. Gen. Howard E. McCormick is vice commander of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Organization, AFSC, Los Angeles, Calif. SAMSO is responsible for research, development and acquisition of U.S. long-range, strategic missiles and space systems.
General McCormick was born in 1922, in Ilion, N.Y. He graduated from Port Richmond High School and then attended Wagner College, both on Staten Island, N.Y. He received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Alabama in 1948.
General McCormick enlisted in the New York National Guard in June 1939 and was ordered to active military service with his unit in October 1940 as a radio operator-mechanic. He was commissioned in August 1942 as a second lieutenant and served as a communications officer during the remainder of World War II. He attended the Royal Air Force Radio School and later served in the European theater of operations with the 406th Fighter Group in England, France, Belgium and Germany. General McCormick returned to the United States in October 1945 and was relieved from active duty in January 1946. He became a member of the Inactive Reserves and returned to college.
When recalled to active duty in October 1948, he was a graduate student/instructor at the University of Alabama and was serving as communications officer with the Alabama Air National Guard. His first assignment was as an instructor at the Air University's Communications-Electronics Staff Officer School.
In October 1950 General McCormick was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe at Wiesbaden, Germany, where he served as a staff communications officer; commander, 25th Communications Squadron; and later as a branch and division chief in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Communications-Electronics. In June 1953 he entered the Air Command and Staff School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
In January 1954 General McCormick was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., as a plans officer and later as executive officer in the Directorate of Communications-Electronics. He returned to Germany in July 1957 where he again was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Communications-Electronics, and held several positions including director, telecommunications.
He next was assistant deputy chief of staff, communications-electronics, 17th Air Force. He attended the Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., from July 1960 to September 1961.
General McCormick next, under the Air Force Education with Industry program, studied astronautics and space vehicle program management with the Aerojet General Corporation, Azusa, Calif.
From July 1962 to August 1965, General McCormick was a research and development program manager serving as chief, Satellite Control Office, and then assistant deputy for space test operations at Headquarters Space Systems Division of the Air Force Systems Command located in Los Angeles, Calif.
He returned to the communications field in July 1965 as chief of the Defense Communications Agency, Europe, with headquarters in Paris, France, then in Germany. In August 1968 General McCormick became deputy chief of staff, communications and instrumentation, 1st Strategic Aerospace Division, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. He moved to Headquarters Strategic Air Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., in July 1969 as director of communications-electronics in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations.
General McCormick was named assistant chief of staff, communications-electronics, U.S. Pacific Command, Hawaii, in June 1972. His responsibilities were expanded in 1973 with the addition of the Pacific Command Automatic Data Processing Support Group to his office.
In September 1974 General McCormick became deputy director (management), Office of the Director, Telecommunications and Command and Control Systems, Office of the Secretary of Defense, in Washington, D.C.
General McCormick assumed duty as vice commander, SAMSO, in September 1976.
His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem with oak leaf cluster, and the Master Missileman Badge.
He was promoted to the grade of major general Aug. 1, 1974, with date of rank March 1, 1972.