Retired July 1, 1984.
Major General Robert W. Clement is commander of 16th Air Force, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, with headquarters at Torrejon Air Base, Spain. He is responsible for U.S. air forces located in Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey.
General Clement was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1927. He attended Savannah (Ga.) High School, graduating in 1945 He has a bachelor of science degree in military engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and a master of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va., and the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force upon graduation from the academy in June 1950. In 1951, following pilot training, he received his wings and in 1952 flew 100 combat missions in F-80s during a tour of duty in South Korea with the 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing.
From October 1952 to August 1955, General Clement was assigned to the 1737th Ferry Squadron at Dover Air Force Base, Del., delivering fighter aircraft to North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries.
The general did graduate work at the University of Colorado from 1955 to 1957 and then become assistant professor of mathematics at the Air Force Academy, Colo., until August 1959. For the next four and one-half years he was stationed at Arlington Hall Station, Arlington, Va., serving as chief of computer programming for the Air Force Intelligence Center.
Following graduation from the Armed Forces Staff College in 1964, he was assigned to the 50th Tactical Fighter Wing at Hahn Air Base, Germany, as plans officer, squadron operations officer and special assistant to the wing commander for conversion from F-100s to F-4D's. He left Germany in August 1966 to attend the Army War College. After graduation he completed F-4 training at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.
From March 1968 to September 1968, General Clement was assigned as executive assistant and aide to the commanding general of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. He then transferred to Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, and served as operations staff officer of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing. He concluded his tour of duty in Southeast Asia in May 1969 and was assigned to the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C., as air operations officer in the Pacific Division, J-3.
In August 1971 he transferred to Royal Air Force Station Bentwaters, England, and served first as deputy commander for operations of the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing and later as vice commander of the 81st.
General Clement assumed command of the 432nd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, in March 1973. The wing included four F-4 fighter squadrons and one RF-4 reconnaissance squadron. In April 1974 he reported to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, as base vice commander and in February 1975 became commander of the base and the 2750th Air Base Wing.
He served as commander of the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing, George Air Force Base, Calif., from February 1976 to August 1976 when he become vice commander of 12th Air Force, Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas. In October 1977 General Clement become assistant deputy chief for operations and intelligence, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and assumed deputy chief of staff duties in January 1978. In January 1980 he was assigned as vice commander, 16th Air Force at Torrejon Air Base and assumed command in July 1981.
The general is a command pilot with more than 4,000 flying hours. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with nine oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Purple Heart, and Air Force Outstanding Unit Award ribbon with "V" device and oak leaf cluster.
He was promoted to major general Aug. 1, 1978, with date of rank May 1, 1975.