Retired April 1, 1968. Died May 15, 1982.
Loren G. McCollom was born in Ritzville, Wash., in 1914. He graduated from Ritzville High School in 1932 and Washington State College, Pullman, Wash., in 1937. In 1939 he enlisted as a flying cadet and won his wings and a reserve second lieutenant's commission the following year.
After graduation from flying school, Lieutenant McCollom's first assignment was aircraft commander in the 8th Pursuit Group at Langley Field, Va. Two years later -- two years which included the beginning of World War II and some half dozen transfers, he assumed command of the 6lst Fighter Squadron, 56th Fighter Group. Six months later Major McCollom took this Squadron to England. In August of 1943 he assumed command of the 353rd Fighter Group also in England and was promoted to lieutenant colonel. During this period of active participation in World War II he destroyed one German fighter, "probably destroyed" two others and damaged a fourth. He was shot down by German flak on a dive bombing mission over France in November 1943, and spent the balance of World War II in a German prisoner-of-war camp.
After World War II, Lieutenant Colonel McCollom was deputy commander of the First Fighter Group (jet) at March Air Force Base, Calif. He then attended the Air Command and Staff School after which he returned to March Air Force Base to take command of the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group having been promoted to colonel in the interim. He was transferred from this assignment to assume the duties of deputy chief of staff/plans, Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va. In July 1952 he was transferred to the Air War College after which he was sent overseas to Korea to command the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing and a year in Tokyo, Japan, at Far East Air Forces headquarters.
After returning from the Far East, Colonel McCollom was assigned to Headquarters Air Defense Command, Colorado Springs, Colo., where he assumed successively a variety of duties, chief of which was deputy chief of staff/plans and requirements. In June 1958, he was transferred to Lawrence G. Hanscom Field, Bedford, Mass., where he served as assistant deputy commander for programming and vice commander for Air Defense Systems Integration Division, deputy commander Air Force Command and Control Development Division and chief of Command and Control Defense Systems Office, Air Defense Command (successively).
He was promoted to brigadier general in November 1958. In January 1961 he was transferred to the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff with duty as chief of the Joint Command and Control Development Group. His present duty assignment is deputy chief, Joint Command and Control Requirements Group, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He is presently under orders to assume duties as deputy commander, 17th Air Force, APO 12, New York, N.Y., effective Aug. 1, 1963.
His decorations include: Silver Star with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Commendation Ribbon, Purple Heart and Air Force Outstanding Unit Award together with numerous campaign ribbons.