Retired May 15, 1963. Died May 1, 1967.
James Franklin Whisenand was born in Bloomington, Indiana in l9ll. He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1933 with a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering.
Appointed a flying cadet in June 1934, General Whisenand entered Primary Flying School at Randolph Field, Texas and graduated from Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, Texas a year later. On April 30, 1940 he became a squadron operations officer at Hamilton Field, Calif., and a squadron commander at Florence, S.C., on March 28, 1942. Two months later the general was a group operations officer at Charlotte, N.C., moving to Drew Field, Fla., as assistant chief of staff for plans, Third Fighter Command, that August.
Going overseas on March 25, 1944, General Whisenand joined the 312th Fighter Wing in the China Theater as executive officer, becoming operations officer of the 312th that May. Transferring to the 10th Air Force in Burma in August 1944, he was named operations officer, and later chief of staff on June 13, 1945.
Moving to Maxwell Field, Ala., in February 1946, General Whisenand joined the staff and faculty of the Air Command and Staff School. That August he assumed duties as chief of the Air Strategy Division, Faculty, at the Air War College, becoming assistant academic director, Faculty, there on July 1, 1947, and the following June was appointed chief of the Special Projects Division at the Air War College.
Ordered to Air Force Headquarters on Dec. 21, 1950, the general was appointed assistant deputy Air Force member on the Joint Strategic Plans Committee, becoming assistant deputy director of plans a year later. On March 1, 1954 he assumed command of the 388th Fighter Bomber Wing, Tactical Air Command, at Clovis Air Force Base, N.M. In November 1954 he moved the 388th Wing to Etain, France.
On Feb. 26, 1955, General Whisenand assumed command of the 49th Air Division in England and on July 1, 1956 was named deputy commander of the Third Air Force, with station at South Ruislip, England.
On May 1, 1957 the General returned to the United States where he reported to Air Force Headquarters, Washington, D.C. to assume duty as deputy director of plans in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, and also as the Air Force member of the Joint Strategic Plans Committee. That Aug. 15, 1957 he became special assistant to the chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.
His decorations include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star and Air Medal. He is rated a command pilot.
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Commissioned a second lieutenant in the Air Corps Reserve on June 10, 1932, be was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Regular Air Force on April 30, 1940; was promoted to first lieutenant (temporary) Oct. 10, 1941; to captain (temporary) April27, 1942; to major (temporary) July 30, 1942; to first lieutenant (permanent) April 30, 1943; to lieutenant colonel (temporary) July 21, 1943; to colonel (temporary) July 1, 1944; to lieutenant colonel (permanent) July 2, 1948; to colonel (permanent) July 1, 1954; to brigadier general (temporary) Oct. 27, 1954.