Retired Dec. 1, 1969. Died Oct. 10, 1998.
Major General Joseph Sylvester Bleymaier is deputy director of the Manned Orbiting Laboratory Program, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force. He also heads the MOL Systems Office located at Headquarters Air Force Systems Command's Space and Missile Systems Organization, Los Angeles Air Force Station, Calif.
General Bleymaier was born in Austin, Texas in 1915. He graduated from the University of Texas with a bachelor of arts degree in business administration. His service career began in May 1941 when he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. One year later he accepted a commission and served as an aerial gunnery officer with the 11th Bombardment Group in the Southwest Pacific from 1943 to 1945. His post-World War II assignments included attendance at the University of Texas and assignment as deputy for test operations, Air Proving Grounds, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
After graduating from the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in 1950, General Bleymaier became assistant director, Command Support Division, Deputy for Development, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
General Bleymaier graduated from the Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., while assigned to Headquarters Air Research and Development Command, Baltimore, Md. He then became assistant director of astronautics and remained with Headquarters ARDC until October 1958, when he was reassigned to Headquarters Air Force Ballistic Missile Division, Los Angeles, Calif. As assistant for subsystems development and deputy commander for ballistic missiles, General Bleymaier was responsible for the development and integration of propulsion, guidance and reentry vehicle subsystems which were components of the Air Force Atlas, Titan and Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles.
In April 1961, he was designated deputy for Launch Vehicles Space Systems Division, Los Angeles, Calif., and in November activities under his jurisdiction included the development, procurement and production of standard launch facilities to meet national space program requirements. He was further responsible for the Air Force portion of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Ranger and Mercury programs and the Navy navigation satellite program.
General Bleymaier became system program director for the Air Force Program 624A - The Titan III, and 623A - Large Solid Motor Development. In this position, he was executive manager of the research and development program to provide the United States military establishment with a standardized space launch system having an initial liftoff thrust in excess of two million pounds.
General Bleymaier assumed responsibilities as deputy commander for manned systems at the SSD in March 1963. While in this position he was cited by President Johnson for his contributions to the Defense Cost Reduction Program during 1965. Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, referred to this program as the "best managed program in the Department of Defense."
In October 1965, General Bleymaier was assigned as commander, Air Force Western Test Range, with headquarters at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. As commander, he was responsible for the maintenance, operations and modification, as needed, of the western portion of the global range in support of Department of Defense, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and other range users' programs as directed by the National Range Division and consistent with established national policies and priorities. General Bleymaier's promotion to major general became effective in April 1967 and on July 1, he assumed his present position as deputy director of the MOL Systems Office at SAMSO Headquarters on July 1, 1967.
His decorations include the Legion of Merit and the Air Medal with oak leaf cluster.