Died Feb. 1, 1979.
Hugo Peoples Rush was born in Pequia Township, Lancaster County, Pa., in 1900. After graduating from Quarryville, Pa., High School, he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. He graduated from the academy and was commissioned a second lieutenant of Infantry July 2, 1920. That same date he was promoted to first lieutenant.
After his graduation from the academy, he entered the Infantry school at Fort Benning, Ga., completing the course there in June 1921. He then served a short tour of duty as an instructor in the Wisconsin National Guard at Camp Douglas, Wis., after which he went to Fort Sheridan, Ill., to join the 54th Infantry. In April l922 he was named assistant adjutant of the Sixth Coast Artillery Training Center at Camp Custer, Mich., and the following July became supply officer of the Second Infantry at that post.
Two months later he was ordered to Brooks Field, Texas, where he received flying training and ground school instruction at the Air Service Primary Flying School. In May 1923 he transferred to the Air Service Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, Texas, from which he graduated in January 1924. He then remained at Kelly Field for duty with the 68th Service Squadron and in April of that year transferred from the Infantry to the Air Service.
In August 1924 he went to the Philippine Islands for duty as station supply officer at Kindley Field, Fort Mills. The following February he became transportation officer of the 28th Bombardment Squadron stationed at Nichols Field in the Philippines, and in June l926 joined the Second Observation Squadron at that station.
He returned to the United States in July 1927 and served a month as acting Air Corps liaison officer at Edgewood Arsenal, Md., before being assigned to Brooks Field as engineering officer of the 46th School Squadron. In September 1928 he was detailed to Massachusetts Institute of Technology at Cambridge, Mass., to study aeronautical engineering for a year, after which he went to Wright Field, Ohio, to become bombardment project officer in the Airplane Branch of the Experimental Engineering Division.
He again was ordered in the Philippine Islands in December 1932 for duty as assistant to the post quartermaster at Nichols Field. He later became engineering officer of the Second Observation Squadron at that station.
In July 1935 he returned to the United States for assignment as assistant director in the Department of Mechanics at the Air Corps Technical School at Chanute Field, Ill. He later assumed the additional duty of director of the Department of Basic Instruction and also became operations officer at Chanute Field.
From September 1938 to May 1939 was a student officer at the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Ala. He then moved to Langley Field, Va., where he served as assistant to the assistant chief of staff for Materiel at General Headquarters Air Force. In January l940 he was named commander of the Sixth Bombardment Squadron and served in this capacity at Langley Field and MacDill Field, Fla. He became commander of the 44th Bombardment Group at MacDill Field in May 194l.
He went overseas in July 1942 to become commander of the 98th Bomb Group. The following month he led the group in combat operations from Palestine in support of the British Eighth Army, then deadlocked with Rommel's Afrika Corps at El Alemain, after which he commanded in the successful Desert Campaign and movement forward to Bengasi.
General Rush returned to the United States in 1943 to become commander of the 15th Wing and chief of staff of the Second Bomber Command, both at Gowen Field, Idaho.
In February 1944 he was reassigned to the Mediterranean as commander of the 47th Bombardment Wing of the 15th Air Force, which operated from Italy against targets in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Greece, Southern France and Northern Italy. He personally participated in 32 combat missions.
In May 1945 he returned to the United States for duty at Army Air Forces Headquarters at Washington, D.C., and later that month resumed command of the 47th Bombardment Wing at Bolling Field, D.C. In September 1945 he assumed command of the 17th Bomb Operational Training Wing at Sioux City, Iowa. He moved to Fort Worth, Texas, the following November to take over the Eighth Bomber Command, and in February 1946 was appointed commanding general of Keesler Field at Biloxi, Miss.
General Rush went overseas in February 1947 for service with the Far East Air Force. Two months later he was assigned to the 13th Air Force at Manila, and shortly afterward assumed command of the 301st Fighter Wing in the South Pacific.
He returned to the United States in May 1949 to become vice commander of the Fourth Allied Force at Hamilton Air Force Base, Calif. The following December he assumed command of the Western Air Defense Force of Continental Air Command at Hamilton Air Force Base.
General Rush has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, and the wings of a Yugoslavian Air Force pilot. He is rated a command pilot, combat observer and aircraft observer.
An enthusiastic aviator, General Rush has flown most types of transports, bombers and fighters from the days of the Curtiss J.N. (Jennie) De Haviland, Spads, and Ford Trimotors to the Liberators, Fortresses, B-29 Superfortresses and Lockheed F-80 Shooting Stars. He possesses a jet fighter rating and has more than 100 hours jet aircraft pilot time. He also is an ardent boatsman and enjoys motorcycle and bicycle riding.