Retired Oct. 1, 1966. Died Nov. 3, 1995.
John D. Stevenson was born in Laramie, Wyo., in 1914. He graduated from Laramie High School in 1930, took three years of pre-law at the University of Wyoming, and entered the U.S. Military Academy in 1933 by congressional appointment. He graduated in 1937, 15th in a class of 300.
Second Lieutenant Stevenson's first assignment was that of a student flying officer at Randolph Field, Texas. He received his pilot wings in 1938 and today is rated command pilot, current in all supersonic jets.
He was transferred to Puerto Rico in January 1941 in command of the 22nd Pursuit Squadron where he was located at the time of the Pearl Harbor invasion.
In June 1942 he was transferred to England as a planning officer on General Eisenhower's staff. In November 1942 he look part in the North African landing as a 12th Fighter Command Staff Officer. In April 1943 he was named commander of a 27th Fighter Bomber Group, which he commanded until shot down and captured by the Germans in August 1943. Great Britain awarded him the British Distinguished Flying Cross for his planning in the Invasion of Sicily.
Upon release from prisoner of war camp in 1945, he was assigned to the Pentagon and the newly-activated Tactical Air Command until he attended the Air War College, Class of 1947-48. Subsequent1y, he was assigned to Washington where he held successive posts as chief of plans, Military Air Transport Service, and chief of the Atomic Energy Division of the Air Force, Office of the Assistant for Atomic Energy.
In February 1952 he was named to command the newly activated 49th Air Division at Langley Air Force Base, Va., which he directed in its move to England in June 1952. He continued to command the first all-jet tactical atomic strike force until his return to Langley Air Force Base where he was assigned as director of plans for Tactical Air Command until his assignment to CADF, Aug. 1, 1958.
General Stevenson, in 1952, was awarded the Legion of Merit for directing the development of atomic weapons for use of fighter bombers and techniques and tactics to employ these weapons.
General Stevenson is an active member of the Presbyterian Church.