Retired Nov. 1, 1961. Died Jan. 17, 1993.
Robert Frederick Tate was born at St. Louis, Mo., in 1905. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy and was commissioned a second lieutenant of cavalry on June 9, 1928.
The following September General Tate began primary and basic flying training at Brooks Field, Texas. He was transferred to Kelly Field, Texas where he graduated from Advanced Flying School in November 1929 and was transferred to the Air Corps.
General Tate's first assignment was as engineering officer of the Third Attack Group at Fort Crockett, Texas. He entered the Air Corps Technical School in June 1930, graduated a year later and returned to his assignment with the Third Attack Group.
In May 1937 the General went to France Field, Panama Canal Zone to become recruiting and press relations officer and adjutant. Appointed commanding officer of the 73rd Bomb Squadron at March Field, Calif., in July 1939, the following year he graduated from the Air Corps Tactical School and assumed command of the 32nd Bomb Squadron at March Field, Calif. In January 1942 he became a pilot on a special project at Tampa, Fla.
Returning overseas in April 1942, General Tate became commander of the Trans-India Ferry Command. Three months later he was appointed executive officer of the China-Burma-India Ferry Command, assuming command in August 1942. Designated theater air officer for the forward echelon of the Army Air Force in the China-Burma-India Theater in January 1943, General Tate served until April 1944 when he returned to the United States.
Named assistant for personnel and organization of the Organization and Requirements Division at Air Force Headquarters in June 1944, that December the general became a member of the Operations Division of the War Department General Staff. Entering the National War College, Washington, D.C. in August 1946, upon graduation in June 1947 he remained as a member of the faculty.
Appointed chief of the U.S. Air Force Group of the American Mission for Aid to Turkey in August 1949, General Tate joined the U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Wiesbaden, Germany in January 1951 as deputy for operations. In September 1953 he returned to Washington, D.C. to become the Air Force member of the Joint Strategic Survey Committee, Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Going to the Air University on Sept. 3, 1956 General Tate was designated commandant, Air War College, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
His decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal. His foreign decorations include the Chilean Order of Merit and the Chinese Order of Yun Hui. He is rated a command pilot and aircraft observer.