Military Bios

Major General Irwin P. Graham:

Military Branch:United States Airforce
Retired Nov. 1, 1982.  
Major General Irwin P. Graham is deputy chief of staff for plans, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.
General Graham was born in 1927, in Charlotte, N.C. He graduated from Greenville (S.C.) Senior High School in 1944 and attended The Citadel, the military college of South Carolina, at Charleston. In 1945 he was called to active duty with the U.S. Army Air Forces Reserve and served as an armament instructor. In 1947 he returned to The Citadel where he received the Air Force Association Medal as the outstanding Air Force Reserve Officers' Training Corps cadet.
He graduated in 1949 as a distinguished military graduate with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering. General Graham has a master of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and a master of business administration degree from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. He completed Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in 1963, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C., in 1967.
He worked with the American Bridge Company, Ambridge, Pa., and the J.E. Sirrine Company, Greenville, S.C., as a structural engineer before being recalled to active duty with the 375th Troop Carrier Wing of the Air Force Reserve following the outbreak of the Korean War.
Serving at Donaldson Air Force Base in Greenville, S.C., and at Pepperrell Air Base, St. Johns, Newfoundland, from 1950 to 1952, the general then entered basic navigator training at Ellington Air Force Base, Texas. He completed advanced observer training at Mather Air Force Base, Calif., in 1954 and was a B-36 navigator with the Strategic Air Command at Biggs Air Force Base, Texas.
After attending the Air Force Institute of Technology, General Graham taught in the engineering department at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md. He also served as the senior Air Force representative at the Naval Academy from 1958 to 1962.
General Graham was a distinguished graduate of the Air Command and Staff College in July 1963. He then moved to Japan to join the historic 8th Bombardment Squadron of the 3rd Bombardment Wing, flying B-57s at Yokota Air Base. When the squadron moved to Clark Air Base, Philippines, and on to Bien Hoa Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, General Graham went to the Policy and Command Relations Division in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base. General Graham entered the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1967 and was a distinguished graduate.
From September 1968 to September 1969, he served as chief of the War Plans Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans, Headquarters 7th Air Force, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Republic of Vietnam. He then returned to Pacific Air Forces headquarters where he served successively as chief of Planning Systems and Automatic Data Processing Applications Division, chief of Strategy and Force Plans Division, deputy director of programs and force plans, and director of programs.
In August 1973 General Graham transferred to the Directorate of Plans, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. There he served successively as deputy chief and chief of the Eastern Regional Division, and as assistant deputy director for plans and policy.
The general was assigned as the Air Force member of the Chairman's Staff Group, Office of the Chairman, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in August 1975. In July 1976 he become the executive assistant and senior aide to the chairman. From June 1977 until assuming his present duties in July 1979, he was assigned to the Plans and Policy Directorate, J-5, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, serving as the assistant and later the deputy director for politico-military affairs.
General Graham is a master navigator with more than 3,800 flying hours. His military decorations and awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal.
He was promoted to major general Sept. 1, 1979, with date of rank Dec. 1, 1975.


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