Retired Nov. 1, 1987.
Major General Maurice C. Padden is commander of Air Force Space Command, with headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.
General Padden was born in Wheeling, W.Va., and graduated from Washington High School in Massillon, Ohio. He received a bachelor's degree in English from Ohio State University in 1952 and a master's degree in guidance and counseling from Troy State University in 1974. He completed Squadron Officer School in 1960, Armed Forces Staff College in 1968 and the Air War College in 1974.
Joining the Air Force in February 1953, General Padden received his commission as a second lieutenant in 1954 after completing navigator training at Ellington Air Force Base, Texas. From April 1954 to April 1958 he remained at Ellington as a navigation instructor.
He entered B-47 navigator training in May 1958 at Mather Air Force Base, Calif. Upon graduation, General Padden was assigned to the 340th Bombardment Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., where he served as a B-47 combat crew member and wing staff officer from November 1958 through September 1963. He then was assigned to the 43rd Bombardment Wing at Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, and Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., as a B-58 navigator.
The general was assigned to Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., in July 1965. While there, he served in the SAC Command Post as test director for automated command and control systems and later as executive officer to the deputy chief of staff for operations. He graduated from the Armed Forces Staff College in December 1968and returned to SAC headquarters. In January 1969 he transferred to Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, where he served as a B-52 strike planner.
General Padden returned to the United States in July 1970 and was assigned to Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., as aide-de-camp to the Air University commander. He served as executive officer from July 1971 to July 1973, when he entered the Air War College. After graduation in 1974, General Padden was assigned as deputy base commander at Norton Air Force Base, Calif. He transferred to Travis Air Force Base, Calif., in October 1975 as deputy base commander.
From February 1976 to June 1978 the general served as base commander at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. He then became commander of the 443rd Military Airlift Wing at Altus Air Force Base, Okla. General Padden was the first navigator to command a wing in the Military Airlift Command. In May 1980 he transferred to the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C., as deputy director for operations, National Military Command System, J-3, and in August 1983 became vice director for operations. In July 1985 the general was assigned as vice commander in chief, North American Aerospace Defense Command, and vice commander, Air Force Space Command. He assumed his present command in October 1986.
General Padden is a master navigator with more than 4,500 flying hours. His military decorations and awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with "V" device, Vietnam Service Medal and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
He was promoted to major general July 1, 1983, with date of rank Aug. 1, 1979.