Retired March 1, 1983. Died Nov. 3, 2003.
Major General Mele Vojvodich Jr. (pronounced Vahvoditch) is assistant deputy chief of staff for manpower and personnel, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
General Vojvodich was born in 1929, in Steubenville, Ohio, where he graduated from Winterville High School. He completed Squadron Officer School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in 1956 and the National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C., in 1971.
He received his pilot wings upon graduation from the aviation cadet program at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., in August 1950. From August 1950 to July 1952, General Vojvodich was an F-84 pilot and aircraft commander at Turner Air Force Base, Ga. His next tour of duty was in South Korea as an F-80 and F-86 pilot, and operations officer for the 15th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. While there he flew 125 combat missions. The general returned to the United States in July 1953, and for the next three years served in various assignments as a pilot and assistant operations officer.
After graduating from Squadron Officer School in July 1956, General Vojvodich was assigned to the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Itazuke Air Base, Japan; then in July 1958 to Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, to serve as an air operations officer with the Operational Readiness Inspection Team.
The general was an operations officer for the 4520th Combat Crew Training Group at Nellis Air Force Base from July 1960 until February 1963. He then transferred to Headquarters U.S. Air Force as a special projects officer in the Directorate of Operations. In October 1968 he was named chief of Atmospheric Weapons Division, Aerospace Defense Command headquarters at Ent Air Force Base, Colo.
Following graduation from the National War College in 1971, General Vojvodich became director of operations for the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas. He then transferred to Thailand in March 1972 and served successively as deputy commander for operations, vice commander, and commander of the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing at Karat Royal Thai Air Force Base. He flew 135 combat missions in F-4s while in Southeast Asia.
Upon returning to the United States in August 1973, he served as deputy chief of staff for tactical analysis, Tactical Air Warfare Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. In August 1974 the general transferred to Headquarters U.S. Air Force as chief, Tactical Forces and Airlift Division, Directorate of Programs, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Programs and Resources. In August 1977 he became deputy chief of staff, technical training at Headquarters Air Training Command, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. He was initially assigned to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower and Personnel at Air Force headquarters in August 1980 as director of manpower and organization. In March 1981 General Vojvodich become director of personnel programs. He assumed his present duties in September 1982.
The general is a command pilot with 6,000 flying hours. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with four oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 13 oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal and Army Commendation Medal.
He was promoted to major general May 1, 1980, with date of rank July 1, 1976.