Retired. Died July 18, 1994.
Major General Jack Weston Wood was born in Fairbault, Minn., in 1907, and graduated from the Kansas City Junior College in 1927. Appointed a flying cadet on Feb. 24, 1928, General Wood entered Primary Flying School at March Field, Calif., graduated from Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, Texas, Feb. 28, 1929, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Air Corps Reserve. He received his Regular commission in May of the same year while stationed at Langley Field, Va., with the 49th Bomb Squadron. General Wood entered the armament course at the Air Corps Technical School at Chanute Field, Ill., graduated in April 1931, and returned to Langley Field for duty with the 20th Bomb Squadron.
General Wood served with the Fourth Observation Squadron at Luke Field, Hawaii, from February 1935 to March 1937, when he moved to March Field, Calif., for duty with the 19th Bomb Squadron. In June 1939 he entered the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Ala., and upon graduation returned to March Field. Two years later he assisted in ferrying the first B-17 Flying Fortresses from San Francisco to Hawaii. The following month he assumed command of the 27th Bomb Squadron of the 30th Bomb Group at New Orleans Army Air Base, La., moving with the group to Muroc Field, Calif., in December 1941 and to March Field, Calif., the following February - assuming command of the 30th Bomb Group that August.
In June 1943, having advanced through all military ranks to colonel, General Wood took the 389th Bomb Group (Heavy) to England and assumed command of the 20th Combat Bomb Wing of the Eighth Air Force in the European Theater of Operations. The following November he was named executive of the 14th Combat Bomb Wing, and in December 1944 was promoted to brigadier general and appointed chief of the British-American Air Component, Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Forces Mission to France.
Ordered to Army Air Force headquarters in June 1946, General Wood was assistant budget officer in the Office of the Chief of Staff. During this period he was appointed chairman of a board of officers appointed by the secretary of war to make a worldwide survey of the Army Post Exchange Service. This survey resulted in the continued centralized operation of the Army-Air Exchange Service.
In December 1947 he was appointed director of Program Standards and Cost Control at U.S. Air Force headquarters, becoming director of the budget in January 1949. As the director of budget for the U.S. Air Force he was responsible for the preparation of the annual budget estimates and the presentation of written and oral justifications to all reviewing agencies, including the Bureau of the Budget and both houses of Congress. He was assistant to the director of intelligence at U.S. Air Force headquarters from August to October 1950 prior to becoming air attach at London, England that November.
General Wood's duties as air attach required that he act as Air Force adviser to the ambassador and work closely with the Royal Air Force and with the British aircraft industry for the purpose of collecting and reporting all pertinent air intelligence to Headquarters U.S. Air Force. During this period he accompanied Ambassador Walter Gifford when he presented his credentials to the late His Majesty King George VI. Subsequently he accompanied Ambassador Winthrop Aldrich when he presented his credentials to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Returning to Headquarters U.S. Air Force in 1953, General Wood was named director of inspection services in the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Air Force.
After being promoted to the rank of major general in November 1954, General Wood was assigned as director, Readiness & Materiel Inspection. In this capacity he was responsible for the inspection of Air Force units worldwide for combat readiness, supply, maintenance, research and development, intelligence, medical and chaplain activities.
On Aug. 1, 1958, General Wood was assigned to the duty of deputy inspector general, U.S. Air Force. In this capacity he is directly responsible to the inspector general, and through him to the chief of staff, U.S. Air Force, for all inspection activities of the Air Force, and for the Air Force's flying safety activities wherever units of the U.S. Air Force are located throughout the world.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Distinguished Service Cross
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze Star Medal
Air Medal with oak leaf cluster
American Campaign Medal
Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem
Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Honorary Commander
Croix de Guerre with Palm
Legion of Honor (French)
National Defense Service Medal
Air Force Longevity Service Award with six oak leaf clusters