Retired Sep. 1, 1975.
Major General Lawrence J. Fleming is chief of staff, U.S. Southern Command with headquarters at Quarry Heights, Canal Zone.
General Fleming was born in 1922, in Green Bay, Wis., where he graduated from high school in 1941. He then attended St. Norbert's College, West DePere, Wis. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in November 1942 and began his active military career in January 1943 as an aviation cadet. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant and received his pilot wings in Jackson, Miss., in March 1944, and then attended P-40 pilot training.
During World War II, in December 1944, General Fleming went to the European Theater of Operations to serve with the 55th Fighter Group in England, flying the P-51 Mustang. He is credited with 197 combat hours in 38 missions. In November 1945 General Fleming returned to the United States on temporary duty for advanced training in aerial gunnery. In July 1946 he returned to the 55th Fighter Group (redesignated the 31st Fighter Group) in Germany, as part of the occupation forces, to serve as the group gunnery officer and flew P-80 aircraft at Giebelstadt and Kitzingen.
In July 1947 he was assigned as a fighter pilot to the 1st Fighter Group at March Field, Calif. During this assignment he attended the Air Tactical School at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. In September 1950 he was transferred to the 94th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at George Air Force Base, Calif. In August 1951 he went to England with assignment as an exchange officer with the Royal Air Force at Royal Air Force Station, Stradishall, England, and flew Meteor aircraft.
He returned to George Air Force Base, Calif., and the 94th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, in September 1953 and was transferred to the 327th Fighter Interceptor Squadron in May 1955. In January 1956 he was assigned as F-86D aircraft officer on the Tactical Evaluation Board for Headquarters Western Air Defense Forces at Hamilton Air Force Base, Calif.
General Fleming attended the Air Command and Staff School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., from August 1957 to July 1958. He then was sent to Travis Field, Ga., for duty as Air Force advisor to the 165th Fighter Group, Georgia Air National Guard.
In March 1962 he was assigned to the Military Assistance Advisory Group, Belgium, where he was operations and training officer in the Air Force Section. While with MAAG, General Fleming completed parachutist training with the Belgian Army and was awarded the Belgian Brevet, "A" parachutist rating.
In September 1964 he returned to Air Defense Command and was assigned to the 29th Air Division at Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base, Mo., as director of tactical evaluation; in October 1965 became commander of the 13th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Glasgow Air Force Base, Mont.; and in December 1966 assumed duties as commander, 343d Fighter Group, Duluth International Airport, Minn.
In January 1968 he was transferred to the Republic of Vietnam as adviser to the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, Vietnamese Air Force, at Tan Son Nhut Airfield, where he flew the A-1 Skyraider with the Vietnamese.
He returned to the United States in January 1969 and was assigned as deputy for operations, Central North American Air Defense Command Region/Tenth Air Force (Air Defense Command) at Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base, Mo. From January to June 1970, he was Continental Air Defense Command liaison officer to the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He next was assigned as assistant deputy chief of staff, operations, Headquarters Aerospace Defense Command, Ent Air Force Base, Colo.
In June 1971 General Fleming became commander of the Air Defense Weapons Center, Aerospace Defense Command, at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. From February 1973 until June 1974, he commanded the 24th North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) Region and the 24th Air Division (ADC), with headquarters at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.
General Fleming assumed duties as chief of staff, U.S. Southern Command, Canal Zone, in July 1974.
His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem, and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon with oak leaf cluster. He is a command pilot.
General Fleming's hometown is Green Bay, Wis.
He was promoted to the grade of major general effective June 1, 1973, with date of rank June 1, 1973.