Retired Oct. 31, 1971.
Major General Marvin Christian Demler is commander of the Chanute Technical Training Center, Chanute Air Force Base, Ill.
General Demler was born in North Tonawanda, N.Y., in 1909. He graduated from North Tonawanda High School in 1927 and entered New York University, graduating with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the School of Aeronautics in 1931. Upon graduation he was commissioned a second lieutenant, Air Corps Reserve, through participation in the University's Reserve Officer Training Corps. Following aviation cadet training at Brooks, Randolph and Kelly fields, Texas, he received his pilot wings in June 1932. He served on active duty for two years as pilot and engineering officer at France Field, Panama Canal Zone, and Mitchel Field, N.Y.
From 1934 to 1938 he was employed by the Aviation Manufacturing Company as an engineer and test pilot on new engine and propeller development projects. On Oct. 1, 1938 he was commissioned in the Regular Air Corps and assigned to Bolling Field, Washington, D.C., as a pilot and engineering officer. He next served in the Power Plant Laboratory at Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, and early in World War II was assigned as chief of the Propulsion Section, Headquarters Army Air Corps, Washington, D.C., where he monitored development of the first jet engines. He was later appointed deputy chief of the Development Engineering Branch.
In 1943 General Demler was one of two Army Air Corps officers first to visit the secret Los Alamos Laboratories of the Manhattan Project to obtain information on atomic bomb development. This visit resulted in the establishment of the famous "Silver Plate" project to modify B-29 aircraft for delivery of atomic weapons two years later. Later in World War II he served in Okinawa with a B-29 bombardment wing, first as chief of maintenance and supply activities, and later as chief of staff.
Returning to the United States in 1946, General Demler again served as chief of the Propulsion Section in the Pentagon until 1949 when he was reassigned to Wright Field as chief, Power Plant Laboratory, and contributed to the rapid development of a jet Air Force. With the establishment of the Air Research and Development Command in 1951, General Demler was assigned to the Wright Air Development Center and served as chief of staff and as vice commander.
He was reassigned to Headquarters Air Research and Development Command in 1954, and appointed deputy commander for research and development in 1956. He was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force in July 1958 where he served as director of research and development; director of aerospace systems development; and director of advanced technology. In July 1962 he assumed command of the Research and Technology Division, at Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C.
Beginning in May 1967, General Demler served on temporary duty with the United Nations Command, Korea, as senior member of the Military Armistice Commission. He was assigned to and assumed command of the Chanute Technical Training Center in November 1967.
General Demler's advanced education includes the degree of aeronautical engineer from New York University in 1934, a master of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Michigan in 1941, and the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration in 1951. Early in 1958, he was elected a fellow in the IAS, now The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The honorary degree of doctor of science was conferred upon the general by New York University in May 1967.
General Demler is a command pilot. His military decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, and the Bronze Star Medal.