Retired Aug. 1, 1968. Died Dec. 6, 1969.
Maj. Gen. John Brereton Bestic is commander of the Electronic Systems Division, (Air Force Systems Command) with headquarters at Laurence G. Hanscom Field, Bedford, Mass.
General Bestic was born at Fargo, N.D., in 1915. He attended the University of Minnesota from 1933 to 1935 when he received an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy. Upon graduation in 1939 he was commissioned a second lieutenant.
His first assignment was with the Third Signal Company at Fort Lewis, Wash. After completing the first air course at the Army Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., in 1941 he was assigned to the Fifth Air Force as communications officer and went with this famed organization from New Guinea to the Philippine Islands and on to Okinawa and Japan.
Following World War II, General Bestic served as chief of the Communications Division in the Directorate of Communications, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., and in 1949 moved over to the Joint Chiefs of Staff as deputy director for communications-electronics.
In September 1950, he was named chief of Communications - Electronics Division, Headquarters Strategic Air Command. During his seven-year tour of duty with SAC, General Bestic directed the development of the SAC worldwide communications network. In 1957, he assumed command of the Pacific Airways and Air Communications Service Area, Military Air Transport Service; and in August 1958 was reassigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force as deputy director of communications-electronics.
He was named director of telecommunications, Headquarters U.S. Air Force in July 1961 and in October 1962, was designated the first deputy director for National Military Command System, Headquarters Defense Communications Agency. In November 1966, he was assigned additional duty as deputy director, DCA. He became commander of the Electronic Systems Division (Air Force Systems Command) in July 1967.
His military decorations include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster. Although General Bestic is not a rated Air Force pilot, he holds an active Federal Aviation Administration instrument license and multiengine rating. He has more than 5,000 hours first pilot time.